|June 20, 2011: Congressman Wittman’s Weekly Washington Update|
|June 20, 2011|
One of the constant issues I hear about from folks is energy prices. Families must continuously budget for the cost of energy for their homes and their vehicles. Small businesses must account for the possibility of rising energy costs as the market evolves throughout the year. As I recently hit 275,000 miles on my 2005 Toyota Corolla, I know the pain of $4-a-gallon gas, and though prices may remain stagnant for a while, we must continue to pursue solutions as part of a much-needed comprehensive energy plan.
I believe it’s important to increase energy production, to create jobs while also providing more supply to combat rising energy prices. Fossil fuels such as gasoline provide a bridge to the future, but we must also pursue renewable, clean energy sources. That’s why this week, I introduced legislation aimed to expand renewable energy production and create jobs. My legislation, The Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act, would streamline the process for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to approve temporary infrastructure, such as towers or buoys, to test and develop offshore wind power. This bill also requires coordination with the Department of Defense, or other federal, state and local agencies, so as not to interfere with their missions. Virginia has the opportunity to be a leader in offshore wind energy generation , especially with a stream-lined process to foster development through this legislation. With favorable wind resources offshore, I know Virginians are ready to get to work producing American-made energy.
This week, we had the first meeting to launch the Congressional Smart Contracting Caucus. America’s First District is home to many small businesses who partner with the federal government. This Caucus, which I am proud to co-chair, will serve as a resource and provide opportunities for those working in Congress to learn more about federal contracting, and the role of contractors in helping the government address challenges. These discussions will prove valuable to provide factual information and perspectives as we continue to discuss the federal budget, and how small business can help the government achieve efficiencies in the work done through federal contracts. The caucus plans future briefings on issues impacting the contractor workforce.
This week the Obama Administration released a report on our military’s involvement in operations in Libya, in response to a request from Speaker Boehner for more information. The House passed a resolution with my support, asking the Administration to explain the United States’ mission and objectives in Libya, as we are deploying our servicemen and women, and our resources there. While the White House provided considerable background on the mission in Libya in this week’s report, the Administration has left critical questions unanswered. With U.S. resources and lives at stake, we must understand the scope, timeframes and objective of this operation. I continue to support the requirement in the House-passed resolution to require the President to give a full report of U.S. involvement in Libya and the future objectives, and continue to support Speaker Boehner’s efforts for a complete picture of this operation. As this situation evolves, I’ll continue to update you on the progress.
This week provided me with your insightful and thoughtful comments and discussions at meetings, events in the district, and through your communications by phone and online. Your comments, thoughts and questions on the issues facing our nation are critical. Please continue to contact my office through the website, www.wittman.house.gov, or call the D.C. office at 202-225-4261.