|Christmas is just two weeks away – trees are up, houses are decorated, cookies are in the oven, children are getting their letters to Santa in the mail, and people are shopping to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. The excitement of the holiday season is all around. It truly is the most joyous season and one I look forward to every year. This time of year, Missouri families’ biggest concern should be whether or not we get a white Christmas.
Unfortunately, a major concern this winter is the energy crisis our country is facing. Gas prices here in Missouri have risen 40% since the President took office. As of last Friday, the national average for a gallon of gas reached $3.37. Yes, the average. As we head into winter, the costs for families to heat their homes is projected to rise by as much as 54%. And if passed, an energy tax being proposed in the so-called “Build Back Better Act” would raise the cost of heating your homes an additional 30%.
While there are suggestions that these increases are simply seasonal or somehow out of the government’s control, most of us know better. These skyrocketing energy prices are a direct result of decisions made by the Administration to cut America’s energy production. On his first day in office, the President shut down the Keystone Pipeline, killing more than 11,000 jobs and taking away an important source of energy. He also issued an executive order to pause oil and gas leasing on American public lands. If we can’t produce energy here in the U.S., we have to depend on foreign countries. And who are the other major oil producer? Countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia.
As Thanksgiving approached and families were worried about soaring energy prices, the Biden Administration announced they would release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which exists to be used in case of emergencies like war or extreme weather. Instead, we’re using emergency reserves to offset bad decisions and address a self-made crisis. Of course, the better and safer option would be to reopen the oil and gas spigots that should have never been closed in the first place.
Here in Missouri, we do have had some good news regarding energy prices. The Spire STL Pipeline that heats 650,000 Missouri homes was at risk of being shut down on December 13th due to a lawsuit with an environmental group. If this pipeline were to be shut down, families across our state would face major gas disruptions and outages as we head into the coldest months of the year. On November 15th, I led a letter with my Missouri Colleagues demanding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) extend the pipeline’s use until alternative sources could be established. We could not let the regulators’ short-sightedness leave Missouri families literally in the cold.
Fortunately on December 3rd, FERC announced it will be extending the pipeline’s use as we asked. In a time when inflation and the cost of energy are making things tough on families, thousands of families can at least rest easy knowing they don’t have one more thing to worry about. I’m proud that the majority of Missouri’s delegation came together to address this threat. And I’m very pleased that at least one commonsense decision was made in Washington. Hopefully there are more to come.
CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.