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June 13. 2014 12:15AM

Another View - Scott Brown: We can make energy affordable for NH families

I grew up in a house with a single mother who was always watching every dime she spent, working two jobs to keep food on the table for me and my sister. When you are struggling to pay the bills and make ends meet, you watch your expenses like a hawk. For those of us who live in the Northeast, a big expense is the price of energy, whether to heat our homes, run our businesses or fuel our cars and trucks. 

Making energy affordable is a priority of my Senate campaign. Last week, I introduced my plan to increase supply and reduce costs using an “all-of-the-above,” comprehensive approach.

I took my plan on the road and talked to motorists at gas stations, business owners and homeowners around the state, and everyone is looking for relief. 

Pump prices are climbing, closing in on $4 a gallon. Just to gas up my truck costs $65. But it doesn’t end there. Have you checked your oil bill lately? To fill the tank can cost up to $1,000, and people are doing that four-to-six times a year. This is a case where the old law of supply and demand is at work. If we can increase the supply of energy from all sources, we can lower prices.

Unfortunately, my Democratic opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, has a very different view when it comes to energy.

She wants to focus almost solely on renewable energy and discourage people from using carbon-based fuels like the gas we put​ in our cars and the fuel we use to heat our homes. In order to do that, she wants to artificially raise the price of carbon.

Last year, Sen. Shaheen voted to put a price on carbon, which would have created a new national tax on energy. 

Sen. Shaheen’s energy tax would have a disastrous effect on our economy and cause rate increases that hurt families and small businesses alike.

According to the non-partisan National Association of Manufacturers, a national energy tax could eliminate 10,000 New Hampshire jobs, increase the price of electricity and natural gas, and force prices at the pump to go up as much as another 20 cents per gallon.

With gas and energy prices already soaring, I respectfully disagree with Sen. Shaheen’s punitive approach, which ends up hurting people and hurting the economy. Of course, we should do what we can to encourage the development of renewable energy technology, including solar, biofuels and geothermal, but we must also proceed with the extraction of more oil from shale fields in the United States, and continue to expand the supply of clean natural gas and safe nuclear energy. 

No discussion of energy these days can avoid the subject of the Keystone Pipeline. I am a big supporter of the project and the union and non-union jobs it will bring. It’s time for President Obama to get off the dime and allow this project to move forward. 

Last week, President Obama gave us another 1,000 pages of regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency.

No one knows how much it’s going to ultimately cost, but it looks like another case of all pain, no gain. My plan outlines a strict cost-benefit analysis for this type of out-of-touch rule making so we can better understand the real-world economic consequences of all the red tape and new taxes streaming out of Washington.

The Obama-Shaheen approach to energy is not working.  New Hampshire families are ready for a realistic plan that will make it easier for them to pay the bills every month and maybe even set aside some money for retirement and college tuition.

Every dollar that mom saves at the pump or in a home heating bill is a dollar that she can use to build a better life for her children.   

By focusing on a true all-of-the-above energy plan that increases our domestic production and reins in the Washington bureaucrats, we can make energy more affordable, create new good-paying jobs, and improve our state and our nation’s economy.

Scott Brown, a Republican of Rye, is running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.


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