While Congress was narrowly able to reach a budget agreement for the remainder of 2011, one of our major needs as a country is not being addressed. America must have an energy policy that will create jobs here at home and allow us to declare energy independence within this generation.
We have once again reached a point where Washington's failure to craft such a policy is forcing every single W est Virginian and every single American to pay a costly price.
Just a few weeks ago, I drove by a gas station in the morning and gas was $3.41 a gallon. But by that afternoon, it was $3.59. We all know this story, and there is something wrong with it.
Our nation needs to come toge ther to craft a balanced energy policy that will create j obs and help us declare energy independence. We've got to use all of our resources -- coal, natural gas, wind, solar, hydro and biofuels.
And, we also have to make sure tha t the energy policy of America's future is not being cr afted by bureaucrats and overregulated by the EPA. We hav e to make sure that this energy policy does not pick winners and losers, which would lead to serious job losses in important industries.
Just this past week, senators had a chance to tackle some of these issues head on: reining in the EPA, limiting overreach of bureaucrats who are attempting to exercise authority never granted to them, and ensuring that we can create good American jobs.
I strongly su pported and cosponsored two amendments that were consider ed on the Senate floor this week. One, offered by my frie nd and colleague Senator Jay Rockefeller, would have susp ended any EPA attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissio ns for two years.
The other, offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), would have permanently prohibited the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, both amendments failed.
I endorsed both me assures because I believe we should do everything in our power to effectively check the EPA's power grab and star t creating jobs again. Overreach by the EPA is destroying jobs in West Virginia and all over the country, and it must be stopped.