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Lowering energy costs

March 6, 2014
Op-Eds

This week, the House worked on legislation that would lower home heating costs, helping to ease the burden on everyday Americans. This winter, Missourians have seen dramatic spikes in the cost of propane used to heat their homes. The propane shortage has had a severe impact, especially those on a fixed income. Robert from New Franklin wrote to me and said, “I am a senior, veteran, retired. I live on a very fixed income. I just spent 1/3 of my monthly income on propane. This cost is a very hard blow for me.” Linda from Pleasant Hill said, “I paid $1.60 per gallon for propane in September 2013. Now the price is $4.00-$5.88 or more a gallon. Try being on a fixed income and see how that does NOT fit into the budget. Those who can’t afford these high prices to heat their homes are forced to go to a shelter.”

In response to the propane shortage, this week the House passed:

  • H.R. 4076, the Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation (HHEATT) Act. I’m proud to have cosponsored this bill. The ongoing propane and heating fuel shortage led the Department of Transportation to issue emergency declarations that would allow commercial truckers to drive for longer hours, speeding up deliveries of much-need propane to affected states. These waivers have been extended multiple times, creating uncertainty. The HHEATT Act would extend these waivers until May 31, 2014, unless a state governor decides that the need for additional propane has been met in their state.

The House also worked on legislation that would help lower energy costs in the long term while getting the government out of the way.

  • H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act. This bill would ensure any new EPA rules would allow for a true “all of the above” energy strategy, including an affordable and diverse electricity generation portfolio.

Missourians and people across America deserve a diverse energy portfolio that lowers their monthly energy bill. It is my hope that the Senate will take up this legislation and send it to the President’s desk quickly. Americans should not have to choose whether to heat or homes or feed their families.