Kansas Common Sense
Calling on President Biden to Stop Depleting National Oil Reserve
This week, I called on President Biden to stop depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which is at its lowest point in four decades.
Given that the United States consumes nearly twenty million barrels of oil per day, the recent decision to release another ten million barrels from the SPR is not only misguided, but it will have a minimal effect on lowering prices at the pump. Draining our emergency supplies is a short-sighted and dangerous choice that imperils our energy security at a critical time of global uncertainty.
The announcement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce oil production underlines the importance of American energy independence. The United States can no longer stand by as OPEC continues to consolidate power over the world’s energy markets. Now is the time to unleash American energy to lower prices, support American jobs and decrease our reliance on adversaries for our energy.
This isn't about reducing an emphasis on renewables, like wind and solar. We need an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes wind, solar, bio-diesel, ethanol, nuclear, oil and natural gas. Common sense tells us that we should not abandon one of our strengths as Kansans and Americans. We need to encourage innovation across the energy sector and become the world leader in energy production.
You can find the full letter here.
Joining Fox News to Discuss American Energy Production
I also joined Neil Cavuto on Fox News this week to discuss President Biden’s plans to drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as well as the importance of unleashing American energy through an all-of-the-above energy production strategy. You can watch the interview here.
Announcing Federal Resources for Kansas Law Enforcement
Kansas Bureau of Investigation
On Wednesday, I joined Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) Director Kirk Thompson to announce federal assistance for the KBI. As the lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that provides funding and oversight of the Department of Justice, I am committed to making certain our law enforcement professionals have the tools and resources needed to protect our communities. An essential part of that work is facilitating partnerships between federal, state and local law enforcement to accomplish this mission. Thank you to Attorney General Schmidt, Director Thompson and everyone at the KBI for their leadership and work to keep Kansans safe.
Photo by Doug Brown, WIBW
Arkansas City Police Department
I was also in Arkansas City earlier this week to announce new federal resources for utility body-worn cameras for the Arkansas City Police Department. I worked to secure this federal investment in order to make certain that our Kansas law enforcement members are provided with the tools necessary to fulfill their mission of protecting and serving our local communities. I want to recognize and commend the work of Police Chief Eric Burr and everyone who serves with the Arkansas City Police Department.
Thanks to the Arkansas City Rotary Club and Rotary Club President Dr. Kori Gregg for hosting us. Special thanks to Victor Hogstrom of PBS Kansas for allowing me to share his time in addressing the Rotary Club. It was also great to visit with Kansas Senate Majority Leader Larry Alley and State Representative Bill Rhiley.
Grand Opening for Kubota Great Plains Manufacturing Equipment Facility
It was great to join Kubota and Great Plains in Salina for the grand opening of their Construction Equipment Facility. Great Plains is a story of the American dream. Roy Applequist started Great Plains Manufacturing in 1976 with an idea and a drive to start a business and innovate American agriculture. That business has led to significant job growth and economic development for the region and state. It is my hope that young Kansans will also have the drive to start their own businesses.
Kubota already provides nearly 1,500 jobs in Kansas, and this expansion will add approximately 130 new manufacturing jobs in the state. Thank you to Kubota for their significant investment in the Salina community and to the leadership and employees at Great Plains for allowing me to participate in this momentous occasion for Salina.
Touring Integra Technologies in Wichita
I toured Integra Technologies in Wichita to see firsthand the work being done to manufacture semiconductor-based microelectronic components for our military. Integra’s headquarters, engineering and manufacturing facilities are located in Wichita where they provide jobs to 250 employees. During my tour, I visited with folks about the important work they are doing to equip our military with critical resources.
Investing in Integra and other businesses around the country to produce semiconductors and other key technologies here at home will create new jobs and boost American manufacturing. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I recognize that companies like Integra are a critical investment in our national security as continuing aggression from China and Russia highlight the importance of safeguarding our domestic supply chain. Thank you to CEO Brett Robinson and his team for hosting me for this tour and for the work they do to help keep our nation competitive and secure.
Attending Airxcel Expansion Groundbreaking in Wichita
This week, I also attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the headquarters expansion of Airxcel in Wichita, a global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of products for recreational vehicles and specialty HVAC markets. With this 125,000-square-foot addition, Airxcel will increase production capacity for its two Wichita brands – COLEMAN-MACH and MAXXAIR. In addition to creating greater operational efficiencies, this expansion will also support future customer demand with products that are locally manufactured right here in the region.
I want to congratulate Airxcel CEO Jeff Rutherford and Division President Rob Leach on this investment that will further solidify their company’s future here in Kansas. I also want to express my thanks to Greater Wichita Partnership CEO Jeff Fluhr and his team for the work they do to attract and retain quality businesses like Airxcel to southcentral Kansas.
Celebrating Great Plains Development Authority 10th Anniversary
I joined state and local leaders in Parsons this week for the Great Plains Development Authority 10th Anniversary Celebration. It was great to be back at the Great Plains Industrial Park, which was formerly the site of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant and will now be home to a variety of businesses bringing new jobs and opportunities to Parsons and Labette County. A number of significant renovations have occurred at the site to prepare for its next chapter as an industrial park. Watco was recently announced as the new operator of the rail system at the park, and the Southern Star will be providing natural gas to the site. During this event, companies including Park My Fleet, Solar Earth and Carbon Optimum also announced investments in the park. These partnerships will bring greater economic growth and opportunity to this corner of the state for years to come and are a significant investment in the future of rural Kansas and the preservation of the small-town way of life that we hold dear.
I want to thank Brad Reams and others at the Great Plains Development Authority for their leadership and efforts to maintain a thriving business hub in Parsons. Thank you as well to all who attended this event and whose efforts contributed to the success of this project.
Touring Labette Health in Parsons
During my time in Parsons, I also toured the new addition to Labette Health to see firsthand the renovations and updates that have been made to this facility, including a new ICU wing and birthing center. During the visit, we also discussed how federal funds have helped Labette Health and other health care facilities navigate the pandemic and provided resources to make certain that the hospital is well-equipped to offer quality care to residents in Parsons and the surrounding area. Thank you to Labette Health CEO Brian Williams and Labette Health Trustee Dr. Wayne Gilmore for hosting me on this tour and providing valuable insight during my visit. Special thank you as well to all the staff at Labette Health for their dedication to caring for the needs of the Parsons community.
Kansas Community Visits
I enjoyed visiting Harveyville this week to speak with local residents during my stops at the First National Bank, U.S. Post Office, Harveyville Seed Company and Harveyville Library. It was also particularly special to visit the site of the new United Methodist Church that was rebuilt after being destroyed by a tornado 10 years ago.
I want to thank Mayor Dustin Kuntz and librarian Shelby Curry for visiting with me and to everyone else who took the time to speak with me during my time in Harveyville.
I was also in Burlington to visit the Coffey County Courthouse, Sunflower Bank, Coffey County Republican newspaper and Coffey County Hospital. During the visit, I had the opportunity to meet the Coffey County Hospital CEO Joben Reith who was recently appointed to the role in January 2022. I appreciated the chance to speak with him and everyone else during my stops in Burlington.
Oxford High School
It was great to visit Oxford High School to speak with students and faculty. I always enjoy hearing from young Kansans, and I want to thank those who spoke with me and gave me a tour of the high school. Thank you as well to Dr. Cathi Wilson, Principal of Oxford High School, for hosting me during this visit.
Manhattan Rotary Club
This week, I had the opportunity to join my hometown Rotary Club meeting in Manhattan. It was great to visit with members and hear about the work being done in our community.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Birthday
Friday, October 14th marked the 132nd birthday of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Happy birthday to Kansas’ favorite son and a native of Abilene. As a World War II five-star general, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe and 34th U.S. President, he left an example of service and leadership that continues to inspire each of us to this day.
I encourage you to visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene to learn more about President Eisenhower, and if you are visiting Washington, D.C., to see the national Eisenhower Memorial, made possible by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
National Farmers Day
This week, we celebrated National Farmers Day, a time to recognize the dedication of the men and women who put food on our tables and sustain a thriving agriculture industry for our state. Thank you to our Kansas farmers for their hard work and for answering the call to feed a hungry world.
United States Navy's 247th Birthday
Thursday marked the 247th birthday of the United States Navy. To all those serving in the Navy across the globe, thank you for your sacrifices and commitment to defending our country.
Kansans in the Office
Gary Allen of Lawrence
Lynda Allen of Lawrence
Amy Cheng of Overland Park
Lynnette Dahl of Olathe
Shelia Delich of Kansas City
Mitch Delich of Kansas City
Jason Fizell of Topeka
Astra Fizell of Topeka
Geneva Fizell of Topeka
Lauren Hansen of Concordia
Nathan Helms of Haddam
Jerry Johnson of Lenexa
Candice Johnson of Lenexa
William Johnson of Leawood
Lauren Johnson of Leawood
Tanner Johnson of Leawood
Tate Johnson of Leawood
MaryKate Johnson of Leawood
Candace Jones of Hutchinson
Eric Larson of Wichita
Debra Larson of Wichita
Ugean Lee of Lawrence
Kathleen Norman of St. John
Robert Robinson of Wichita
Janet Robinson of Wichita
Henry Schoonover of Olathe
Gregory Skoch of Overland Park
John Skoch of Overland Park
Charles Skoch of Overland Park
Terry Steininger of Salina
Alex Tiemeyer of Linn
Erin Tiemeyer of Linn
Phillip Williams of Topeka
Kimberly Williams of Topeka
Preston Williams of Olathe
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and Manhattan City Manager
Jason Smith of Manhattan
Ron Fehr of Manhattan
Kansas FCCLA Executive Council
Easton Hrabe of Smith Center
Clara Kee of Frankfort
Micah Kee of Frankfort
Kyle Schutte of Kansas City
Jimmy Todd of Lenora
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