Press Releases

WASHINGTON D.C. –U.S. Senator John Boozman brought Arkansans’ concerns about rising gas prices to the Senate floor. 

In a speech today, Boozman highlighted some of the frustrations he has heard from Arkansans including from postings on his Facebook page detailing how the increase in pump prices are impacting the daily lives of hardworking families. 

“American families and businesses deserve a plan that will help bring down the price at the pump. The legislation before this chamber proposes to raise taxes on American energy producers. This won’t change the supply or the demand, but it will drive the cost up. Once again hardworking Americans will be left with bill,” Boozman said in the speech. 

Boozman emphasized the importance of adopting an energy policy that increases the production of American-made energy and developing alternative energy sources. 

The full text of the speech as prepared for delivery can be found here: 

Madam President: The increasing price of gas is a costly reminder of how dependent our country is on foreign oil. This is one of the most pressing issues we’re facing today because the price at the pump directly impacts our everyday lives and Arkansans are telling me they are worried about what it’s doing to their bottom line. 

Americans are frustrated with the increasing cost of gas and rightfully so. In my home state of Arkansas the cost for a regular gallon of gas is up 22 cents from a month ago according to AAA. The letters, calls, emails and Facebook posts I receive from Arkansans are saying the same thing….it’s harder to fill up their gas tanks while making ends meet. 

Arkansas families are faced with tough choices because the rising prices are dipping into family’s disposable incomes. The increasing expense for gas puts a strain on family budgets.  

Earlier this week I hosted a tele-town hall with Arkansans from across the state and while I expected to get some questions about this issue I was surprised at how much this dominated the conversation. 

During the event we took an informal poll asking participants if the increase cost of gas has forced them to change their daily habits. 78 percent of those who answered said the price had an impact. 

Sarah from Mountain Home, Arkansas said on our Facebook page that the increase in gas prices have forced her family to allocate more money for fuel expenses, which leaves less for food,  making it frustrating. 

Sarah and other Arkansans shouldn’t have to choose between spending on gas to get to work and putting food on the table.  

Chris from Mena, Arkansas wrote that he notices an increase in the price of groceries. “People should be aware of how fuel costs affect ever thing we buy and do,” he said. 

I agree with Chris because the increase price for gas adds to transportation costs that are passed along to the consumers.

 

Donnie Smith, CEO of the Springdale, Arkansas based Tyson Foods told the Arkansas Business Journal that with Springdale as a price point there’s been an increase of more than 55 percent in the cost of diesel in the past five years. This is significant because the company uses fuel is to transport feed to family farmers, chickens to and from the farms and finished products to customers around the world. 

American families and businesses deserve a plan that will help bring down the price at the pump. The legislation before this chamber proposes to raise taxes on American energy producers. This won’t change the supply or the demand, but it will drive the cost up. Once again hardworking Americans will be left with bill.

I believe a better way begins with adopting an energy strategy that increases our production of American energy in a clean, efficient way, through developing wind, solar and hydrogen technologies as well as tapping into the vast majority of natural resources our country is blessed with.  

The reality of our country’s nonexistent energy policy is it forces us to rely on the Middle East for oil. We import about 9 million barrels of oil every day, about half of our supply. This is costly to our economy, our citizens and threatens our national security.

This is the only developed country in the world that refuses to use its natural resources. Opening up Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and increasing offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf is a step in the right direction that puts us on the path of energy independence. 

More we can also boost our domestic energy supply through the development of the Keystone XL pipeline.  

The proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast and allow us to get reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner and trusted ally. 

Unfortunately, while I support this project, and voted in favor of it several times in this Chamber, the project was rejected by the Majority after President Obama lobbied his members to vote against it after vetoing the project earlier this year. 

There is no time like today to pass legislation to fully utilize the resources of this country, but this should not come with a cost to our energy producers.