As our nation continues to grow its economy and get people back to work, we need an energy policy that provides Southwest Washington with affordable and reliable energy. Higher energy costs hurt families and make it harder for businesses to compete. Every time gas prices go up, our region loses jobs. Sound energy policies also allow us to sever our dependence on oil-rich nations that do not honor our values or have our best interests in mind.

We are well-situated in Southwest Washington to take full advantage of an “all of the above” approach to energy. Our region is home to clean and renewable hydropower, natural gas and a growing biomass industry. By pursuing these and other forms of energy, we can keep costs affordable and ensure our energy supply is stable. Reasonable energy prices will also help us both maintain the businesses we have and attract new businesses – and jobs – to Southwest Washington.

I share a desire for cleaner energy, and I don’t believe that it has to come at the cost of more jobs to our communities. Incentives, not punishment, should be the path to more renewable energy. Arbitrary “clean energy” mandates that value certain favored forms of clean energy over others at the expense of efficiency and cost, and backdoor attempts at cap-and-trade taxes on families and businesses, are not in the best interest of our recovering economy.