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Weekly Columns

Arkansas families, businesses and communities understand the importance of an affordable, reliable and clean energy supply. We rely on low-cost energy in order to drive our vehicles to all the places we need to get to in our daily lives, heat and light our homes and businesses, and meet a number of other essential needs. This reality means we need policies that enable us to access inexpensive energy sources while also supporting economic opportunities to help us succeed into the future.

I’ve been a long-time champion for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that encourages solar, nuclear and wind energy production to put the United States on a path to energy independence so we aren’t at the mercy of nations like Russia, Venezuela and others for access to vital resources.

Arkansas companies are leading the way in implementing innovative solutions that provide renewable energy. In Northeast Arkansas, I recently celebrated the state’s first collection of solar panels made with steel produced right here inthe Natural State. This partnership between Lexicon, Inc. and Seal Solar will help reduce electrical costs for Lexicon’s facilities. 

Similar projects are launching all across the state. In recent weeks the Ouachita County community of Bearden broke ground on a solar project aimed at reducing energy costs with its own initiative. 

The development and implementation of these strategies demonstrate the benefits of adopting a policy that uses all of our American resources, including solar energy because of the significant role it plays in enhancing our energy supply. 

Canceling the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and the suspension of new drilling leases on federal lands have been setbacks to achieving energy independence. These Biden administration policies have resulted in job losses and threaten energy affordability. Now the White House is pursuing a massive spending proposal that includes imposing Green New Deal-style measures that will further regulate how Americans produce and use energy. 

This is especially problematic for a rural state like Arkansas where there are more hurdles to providing reliable and affordable energy to power farms and ranches. During my annual agriculture tour across the state, producers shared their concerns about this assault on their livelihoods and how increased energy costs would negatively impact their operations. 

We must defend against this attack on rural America. That’s why I recently led Senate efforts to encourage sensibly using our existing energy resources and block attempts to ban fossil fuels.

Pursuing smart and responsible approaches to creating sustainable energy is practical and can be done without jeopardizing reliable, affordable energy in small towns across the country. 

Promoting energy innovation and the use of all of our nation’s diverse natural resources is key to lowering energy costs. We can all be proud of the ingenuity and resourcefulness taking place in Arkansas. I will continue to support these 21stcentury advancements while protecting our ability to use traditional energy sources.