Long-term solutions: Keller calls for improved energy policies

MIKE REUTHER/ Sun-Gazette U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, talks with Shannon Monroe, vice president for Workforce Development, Pennsylvania College of Technology, during a tour of the school’s programs.

A federal lawmaker believes better policies are needed to move the energy industry and the nation forward.

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, talked to industry and government officials during a lunch roundtable Monday at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Later, Keller toured the school’s programs including the Plastics Innovation and Resource Center, the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center, and the Larry Ward Machining Technologies Center.

Keller said he believes the problems existing with energy are very much tied to inflation and other economic issues facing the country.

“The long-term policy is to enhance American energy,” he said.

The 18 cents gas holiday pushed by the Biden Administration, Keller said, is simply a short-term solution to problems such as inflation.

“How about a policy that is long-term?” he asked.

He noted that Biden often talks about buying American products while adding, “We can’t do that without American energy.”

Keller said policies that prevent the building out of pipelines to bring gas from Pennsylvania to markets in New England are an example of what needs to change

He called for “common sense policies” that ensure a long-term strategy.

“These pipelines are absolutely essential,” Marcellus Shale Coalition President David Callahan told Keller.

The lawmaker agreed that Americans are feeling the high cost of gas to run their vehicles, which is a result of the policies in place.

He said the U.S. can’t afford to become energy dependent from other nations.

“Fuel prices are at an all-time high,” he said. “Let’s not be asking those who don’t like us to provide energy for us.”

In May, Keller voted with other House Republicans against the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act which would give the President the authority to issue an energy emergency proclamation making it unlawful for companies to increase fuel prices to “unconscionably excessive” levels.

It would also expand the powers of the Federal Trade Commission to investigate alleged price gouging in the industry and would direct any penalties toward funding weatherization and low-income energy assistance.

Keller has indicated he opposed the bill because it does nothing to “address the real causes of rising energy costs, weaponizes the Federal Trade Commission to implement price controls on private industry and stifles economic growth.”

He offered an amendment to the bill calling for greater American oil and natural gas production by expanding domestic drilling.

Keller said the gas and oil industry is highly regulated and does a good job of producing energy safely.

He noted renewables such as wind and solar are fine, but they don’t become available to consumers without first mining for the resources necessary for producing that energy.

He said energy jobs are available for people who want them.

However, many young people simply need to be educated about the industry.


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