Skyrocketing Gas Prices Put the Squeeze on Small Businesses, New House Majority Taking Action |

Last night, in his address to the Economic Club of New York, Speaker Boehner talked about how Washington has been part of the problem when it comes to soaring gas prices. “Washington has also kept most of our nation’s vast energy resources under lock and key for decades, over the clear objections of the American people -- the people who own those resources,” he said.  The new House majority is committed to addressing gas prices and helping the economy create jobs by rolling back the Administration’s de facto moratorium on American energy. 

This week, the House is expected to consider two bills as part of the American Energy Initiative, an effort on the part of the new House majority to stop Washington policies that are driving up gas prices and expand American energy production to help lower costs and create jobs.  Here’s a quick summary of both bills, courtesy of the House Natural Resources Committee:

  • H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, would end the de facto moratorium on American energy production in the Gulf of Mexico in a safe, responsible and transparent manner by setting firm timelines for considering permits to drill.
  • H.R. 1231, the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act, would lift the President’s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.

As these headlines from across the country show, the need to boost American energy production to bring down skyrocketing gas prices and help create more American jobs could not be more urgent. Rising gas prices are putting “the squeeze” on local businesses from Washington to Texas, leaving them “reluctant to hire”:

  • “Washington Businesses Reluctant To Hire.” “Indeed, the survey shows that local companies are less optimistic about economic conditions, with roughly 40 percent seeing improvement, compared to more than half a year ago. [Denise] Pope [market president for Capital One Bank] suggests the spike in gas prices has tempered enthusiasm as area companies grapple with transportation expenses. ‘The Washington area is geographically spread out and traffic is pretty challenging. For businesses that have trucks out on the road with deliveries, fuel prices are starting to put a strain on them,’ she said.” (The Washington Post, 5/9/11)
  • “Gas Prices Put Strain on Local Businesses.” “Roehl Transport has a pricing structure that takes into account the price of the diesel fuel with a surcharge, but the customer might not see the change until after the fact, said vice president Greg Koepel. ‘Diesel fuel has been rising steadily this year,’ he said. ‘We typically can't recover that cost as fast as the price rises, so it definitely puts pressure on our business.’” (Central Wisconsin Sunday, 5/7/11)
  • “Rising Gas Prices Put the Squeeze on Many Local Businesses.” “‘Gas used to be affordable,’ said Logesky, owner of Rosebud Floral & Giftware. ‘It definitely affects your business and cuts into your profit.’ As gas prices continue to rise, local businesses are feeling the same pains as consumers. While consumers are cutting back on driving, businesses that rely on traveling are facing their own battles.” (Murrysville Star, 5/5/11)
  • “Rising Gas Prices Especially Hurting Small Businesses.” “At Grabow Hardware at 106th and Birch in Omaha, the recent spike in gas prices is directly affecting business, from inventory orders to sales orders to customer attitudes before they walk through the door. ‘I would say the pace of that uptick (in demand) has slowed since the first of the year probably due to freight and fuel charges and what customers are paying for gas.’” (WOWT 6 News, 5/4/11)
  • “Crossroads Businesses Feel Effects of High Gas Prices.” “Mario Garcia owns Super Mario's Yard Work, a one-man company that offers not only lawn services, but painting, sprinkler work and the like. … Garcia said he’s felt the effects of price increases, but doesn’t pass those off to customers. Instead, he works to make ends meet. ‘If I usually would spend $250 on groceries, I'll cut it down to $120 and save some for gas,’ he said. ‘It affects me and my family. But I find a way.’” (Victoria Advocate, 5/3/11)

To follow the action on the American Energy Initiative legislation on the floor this week, and stay updated on several other American Energy Initiative proposals that will be put forth in the coming weeks, “like” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook at: