WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO), Chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, today held a hearing to highlight the crippling effects of high fuel prices on small business and the vital need for an all-of-the-above energy approach to ease this cost burden on entrepreneurs.
“As a former small business owner, I know firsthand how detrimental skyrocketing fuel prices can be on the ledger,” said Tipton. “Congress must not remain idle on this critical issue. We need an ‘all-of-the-above’ plan that conserves energy, invests in alternative and renewable sources of energy, increases refining capacity here in America, and allows more of our natural resources to be used for our energy production. Not only would this reduce energy prices, it would also create thousands of high-quality American jobs. We should be using skilled American workers to produce American energy instead of reliance on volatile foreign oil.
“As Chairman of the Agriculture, Energy and Trade Subcommittee, I will be working hard with my colleagues to help small businesses by pursuing policies that lower the cost of fuel and bring America closer to energy independence—without raising taxes.”
In other efforts to lower energy costs, Tipton last week voted for the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 910), which passed by a vote of 255-172. This bill would help small businesses by stopping the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using the Clean Air Act to unilaterally impose greenhouse gas regulations to address climate change.
To view Chairman Tipton’s opening statement, witness testimony and related hearing documents, click here.
Notable Witness Quotes:
Dick Pingel, Operator of Finally Trucking, Inc., in Wisconsin, said, “The impact that these price spikes have on the small business trucker are devastating, halting investment and potentially forcing drivers to default on the loans that finance their trucks. In the past, domestic energy production has helped mitigate price spikes based on international conditions, but the limitations on production currently in place have helped pass along to truckers the energy price increases related to unrest in the Middle East far more quickly than in the past.
“The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and its members support efforts to expand energy production here at home, from the Gulf of Mexico to the new oil-shale opportunities in the West and urges Congress and the Administration to take actions to proceed with new developments and to restart exploration and production operations currently under constraint. This is especially true of areas in the Gulf and of the area off the shore of Virginia that have seen their leases canceled or delayed. It is difficult for truckers to understand why there will be no new offshore lease sales this year, the first time that has occurred since 1958, when fuel prices are this high.”
Jim Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in Monte Vista, Colorado, said, “I recently read a report from the Congressional Research Service detailing the potential fossil fuel reserves of the world. I was encouraged to see that the United States might actually have the largest fossil fuel reserves in the world but I was distraught because as a country we continually fail to develop these resources. It is time to find bi-partisan solutions to this embarrassing failure to develop all energy sources that are available. Energy prices are going to continue to rise with increasing worldwide demand even if we develop multiple sources of energy as quickly as possible. Failure to act puts our great nation and its ability to feed the world at risk.”
Robert Weiner, Professor of International Business, Public Policy and Public Administration and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC, said, “Business will continue to be innovative and adaptable in a world of high and volatile oil prices. To foster investment and future production, it is important to establish and implement clear, stable policy in the areas that affect petroleum the most – taxes and regulation. This is most easily seen for offshore drilling, but also affects new technologies (e.g., oil and gas production from shale).”