Energy supply at critical juncture

Congress and the White House are scrutinizing the oil and gas industry as gasoline prices rise. Caught in the middle of these misguided attacks are the small independent oil and gas producers. The American public expects progress in a number of different areas requiring Republican and Democrats to work together to create policies in the best interest of the American people. One area where Republicans and Democrats are expected to work to find a compromise is with energy policy. The U.S. public wants Congress to provide energy legislation that will help bolster the economy, protect the environment and require minimal personal sacrifice by the consumer.

Many folks across the nation are not financially secure enough to deal with rising energy costs and unwilling to make significant lifestyle changes. If energy legislation does not serve the best interest of the public, it offers no incentive for the public to make changes.

President Obama continues his misguided call to levy massive amounts of job-crushing tax increases on small independent oil and gas producers. Despite what the president asserts, his budget proposal would fundamentally undercut our nation's long-term energy security objectives, and would put into jeopardy tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and thousands of small businesses. The president must stop his "blame game" of attacking "Big Oil" for rising gas prices and the so-called subsidies he claims these companies receive. He is harming the entire domestic oil and gas industry. The federal government by no stretch of the imagination subsidizes the oil and gas industry. Doing away with tax provisions for exploration will not hurt big companies like BP or Exxon. It hurts the small independent oil and gas producers that drill 93 percent of the wells in the United States. These tax provisions, not subsidies, allow small independent companies to invest profits in reserves and production, as well as create jobs. Major oil companies don't get many of these tax provisions the president proposes to eliminate and haven't for 30 years. So, in the end, eliminating these tax provisions would kill jobs, and the price at the pump increases due to lack of supply.

The president has also promised tens of thousands of new American jobs would be created from clean energy technology. What he doesn't explain is that energy sources from clean energy technologies are much more expensive than the energy sources we already have. The question is whether or not the government will force us to use much more expensive sources of energy that don't work as well. The answer is not to hyper-subsidize preferred industries or force consumers and job creators to purchase energy they cannot afford. Individual consumers responding to market incentives, not government subsidies or mandates, should drive our energy economy.

Our energy scarcity is because of politics. It should be unacceptable to every American worried about gasoline costs that our nation has an abundance of energy sources and the technology to develop them, yet Congress and the president have done nothing to address this alarming situation.

EDWARD CROSS,

Topeka

Cross is president of the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association.

Set aside food for the hungry

The Garden City community is asked to give to the letter carriers annual food drive for the hungry on Saturday.

Scout executive John Hogg and members of the Santa Fe Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America will be aiding in the effort. The same as last year, Boy Scouts will be located at Dillons East, Dillons West and Walmart accepting donations. So, look for the Boy Scouts and please donate to the largest one-day food drive in the USA.

Thank you.

GREG SPRINGSTEEN,

Garden City

Springsteen is a letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Garden City.