May 13, 2009

Idahoans Want Action, Balance, Bipartisanship On Energy Policy

Crapo says 1,200 e-mails he's received shows patience wearing thin

Washington, DC - Idahoans, 1,200 strong, have made their point: the nation needs to act now to use balance and bipartisanship in crafting a new energy policy of improved conservation and energy resources, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo announced on the Senate floor this morning that he has finished entering into the Senate record hundreds of e-mails he has received directly from Idahoans since last summer, detailing concerns about high energy costs. As gasoline prices soared above the $4 per gallon mark last July, Crapo asked Idahoans for their opinions and promised to put each one into the Senate record. That process ended this week with responses from more than a thousand Idahoans.

"Many Idahoans have had to cut back on their home repairs, their heating and air conditioning and their contributions to their retirement plans," Crapo said on the Senate floor about the e-mails he received from Idahoans. "Many had to make decisions on whether to purchase food or fuel or needed medications and medical care. I recall one particular story from a young mother, telling me that she and her husband had started eating much less so that their children could have enough to eat and they could still afford enough gasoline each week to get to work and keep their jobs.

"Many of their stories were heart-wrenching. Many talked about losing their jobs, about being forced to relocate or to make decisions between purchasing gas or eating their next meal. Many reduced their expenses, cut their luxuries and found ways to economize. But the dramatic increase we experienced last year brought Idaho families, as many in other states, to their knees asking for help."

Crapo warned Idahoans' patience is wearing thin regarding Congress' lack of action on a comprehensive energy policy. He noted gas prices are rising again and Congress is no closer to a comprehensive energy policy that it was last year.

"Oil is now above $58 a barrel and gas prices are the highest they've been in six months," Crapo said. "We don't need a repeat of last summer. We need to work together to craft a comprehensive energy policy that promotes our domestic security and creates American jobs, while providing energy at the lowest cost possible to our consumers.

"The key to our energy future is to take a balanced approach that includes domestic production, conservation, renewables, nuclear and alternative fuel development. My constituents desire the kind of bipartisanship that can transform this countries energy policy and I welcome the opportunity to work with all of my colleagues on this issue."

Crapo received more than 1,200 emails from Idahoans and committed to share those emails in their entirety with his colleagues through the Congressional Record. The emails were submitted in accordance with Congressional Record guidelines: each Senator can only submit a certain number of words to the written record each day; submissions could only be made on days that the Senate was in session; and the emails were minimally edited to conform with grammatical requirements. Each set was also posted on Crapo's website, which maintains a search link to the Congressional Record to all the submissions: http://crapo.senate.gov/issues/energy/IdahoansStories.cfm.