As Congress returns from its summer recess, there is a matter being considered that will impact all of eastern Utah.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed versions of an energy bill that may harm our regional economy and increase America's dependence on foreign oil. My fellow Democrat, Jim Matheson, voted against these harmful provisions for increasing red tape and taxes on oil and gas exploration. He should be applauded for putting his district before party affiliation.
I am writing to encourage our delegation's continued support of energy-related exploration in the United States. Eastern Utah has the potential to provide massive new resources for our nation's energy supply. Such discoveries would not only help our shared goal of energy independence, but would also lead to tremendous job and wage growth in a part of our state that has long been in need.
While I realize we must proceed with an eye toward justified environmental concerns, some provisions being considered before Congress would severely hamper domestic exploration and development. It would be shortsighted and foolish to call for energy independence and then hamstring the very activities that will help us reach our goal.
Someday we all hope that alternate forms of energy will replace some of our need for oil, but in the meantime, we cannot afford to ignore what is right before us. I support environmental and technological advances such as alternative fuels; eastern Utah's potential energy reserves can be an important bridge between that time and now.
Easing America's energy problems will require the development of a dependable, balanced energy supply that incorporates plentiful amounts of all types of fuels, including both foreign and American oil. Opposition to these ill-conceived bills will help make this goal easier to achieve and will support important job creation here in Utah.
I hope our representatives will support energy independence by opposing these measures.