Kansans are rightfully mindful of how the availability of energy and energy prices affect both the local and national economic landscape.
High energy prices can pose significant challenges for Kansas households. The burden of higher gas prices is particularly troubling in rural Kansas where traveling long distances for work and school is a necessity. Higher energy prices increase the operating costs for many of our most vital Kansas industries, including manufacturing, agriculture and transportation. Whether you're heating your home in the winter months, irrigating crops, or producing, transporting or using fertilizer, higher energy prices pose real economic harm to Kansans.
For the United States to remain competitive in the global market, we must adopt a comprehensive energy policy that bolsters American energy independence and supports innovation here at home. It is far past time for Congress to make a strong commitment to develop a long-term, all-of-the-above domestic energy policy. While responsible exploration and recovery of our country’s vast natural resources continues and provides our country with many economic benefits, it is important that we continue to advance technologies to help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil.
No single form of energy can provide the answer that will allow production of sufficient amounts of domestic energy. To solve our nation's energy problem, we must develop traditional, domestic sources of oil, natural gas and coal; encourage development of renewable energy sources like biofuels and wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower; expand the use of nuclear energy; and promote conservation.
We must also develop a long-term approach to expanding renewable energy. Our current system relies on a piecemeal set of tax incentives that often expire on a yearly basis, while businesses, including the energy generation industry, depend on long-term investment models. Congress needs to develop an integrated approach that will promote regulatory certainty and allow sustained investment in all forms of renewable energy.
Energy exploration must also be accompanied by energy conservation. Today’s new cars and trucks are the most fuel efficient in history, and new construction of energy efficient buildings is on the rise. Congress must continue to seek opportunities to advance policies that are practical and cost-effective methods for Kansans to reduce energy use.
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