Obama-Casey Policies Hurting Americans At The Pump

Chairman Rob Gleason

Our economic recovery has been a slow and delicate one, threatened in Washington, D.C. every step of the way by runaway spending, taxes and regulation from the Obama Administration and Democratic Senate. U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and Pennsylvania Republicans in the U.S. House have worked hard to reduce spending and create a pro-job growth environment for business. Unfortunately, they’re great work has been met with rejection by a do-nothing Senate led by Harry Reid and President Obama’s veto stamp.

Our victories and bright spots for the future have come from state capitols around the country, where Republicans like Governor Tom Corbett and majorities in the General Assembly in Pennsylvania have passed policies to help reverse the ailing economy. For all of their credit in helping Pennsylvania, only so much can be done when we have a White House administration that is fighting us tooth-and-nail every step of the way.

Now, Americans face more barriers to recovery, as rising gas prices threaten our way of life. Working families rely on their cars to transport them to and from their place of work so they can bring home a paycheck, support their family and hopefully have something left to spend for themselves. But that reality only becomes a dream when the national average for gasoline has risen 12 cents in two weeks to almost $3.81 a gallon. Pennsylvania isn’t much better off, with an average around $3.68 a gallon.

Those extra costs don’t just hurt families directly, but also by increasing costs on business. The manufacturing sector relies on energy and transportation when they move their merchandise from production to market. Increasing their costs to do business means less production, higher costs and fewer jobs. This is a reality that we are facing as President Obama’s energy policies and lack of response to rising gas prices hurts the bottom line of small businesses and American families.

We don’t have to look far to see the results. Just recently GenOn Energy announced it would close five coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania over the next four years because of environmental rules that have made their business unprofitable. Senator Casey is a staunch, consistent supporter of President Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal and regulation policies that cost Pennsylvanian’s their jobs. The president’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline blocked new energy production that would have reduced prices and created jobs. When Republicans in the Senate moved to speed up the pipeline, Democrats blocked it yet again.

In Pennsylvania, we have seen a stark contrast. Governor Corbett and Republican leaders in the State Senate and House last month passed legislation to expand the development of the Marcellus Shale region and natural gas industry. This was done in a safe way, with attention to local needs, without preventing job creation and the expansion of new technology and energy. Pennsylvania families have been fortunate enough to see their electricity rates decline dramatically in the last year. Provider PPL Electric Utilities has made consistent cuts since a record increase two years ago. The increase in supply of natural gas has made for cheaper energy prices and less expensive costs for families to power their homes.

Governor Corbett has been leading from the front to prevent skyrocketing fuel and energy costs for middle class working families and small business. The Obama administration’s actions are making these times more difficult than they should be and jeopardizing the health of our financial recovery.

This next election will mark a new direction in our country. Here in Pennsylvania we have a great opportunity and responsibility to replace President Obama and U.S. Senator Bob Casey when we go to the ballot box in November. In their place we can send a Republican President to the White House and send Tom Smith to join Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate and have a federal government that will help our states in protecting American and Pennsylvania families from rising costs, foreign dependence, burdensome regulations, wasteful spending, and unnecessary debt, not undo their hard work and progress.