Families will soon be packing up their cars, pulling out the maps, and jumping on the road to enjoy the beautiful summer weather in South Dakota. Tourism is the number two industry in South Dakota, so we understand the implications that higher gas prices mean not only for our own summer plans, but also for the plans of thousands of other families hoping to enjoy some summer fun in our state.
Increases in gas prices across South Dakota and surrounding areas of the Midwest continue to squeeze American families and small businesses who are still dealing with a historically slow economic recovery. The financial pain of high gas prices is not limited to filling up our own vehicles. The price of gasoline is driving up the cost of goods and services each of us rely upon. For example, the price to transport everyday household goods is higher due to increased gas prices; these fuel costs are passed on to the consumers in the form of higher prices. The high gas prices also impact the state’s number one industry—agriculture. Farmers and ranchers, who rely on the use of tractors, combines, and other equipment, also feel the pinch of the higher prices for gasoline and diesel fuel.
Instead of working together to help lower the cost of gas for all Americans, the administration and Senate Democrats continue to turn a blind eye to the problem. It is time for Congress to get serious about creating jobs and lowering energy prices. Projects like the Keystone XL pipeline will help provide a more efficient distribution of Bakken oil to refineries across the Midwest and will help create nearly 20,000 jobs. Additionally, while oil and gas production is booming on private lands, it continues to lag in federal areas and some of our most promising offshore areas remain off-limits. America is beginning to take hold of its energy future, but without the right policies coming out of Washington, consumers will continue to feel pain at the pump throughout the year.
As South Dakotans gear up for another season of baseball games, camping trips, and summer vacations, I will continues to push for responsible access to all domestic sources of energy that will help lower prices and increase America’s energy security.