Dear Editor, Higher energy prices could drive propane costs up, too

Mar. Theatre
March 5, 2007
Harry Smith
March 7, 2007

One of the basic rules of economics is that high prices result in lower demand.

In an effort to reduce the dependence on oil and gas in America, some in Congress are hoping to reduce the demand by raising the costs to consumers in the form of new taxes and onerous new environmental regulations.

While the goal of becoming energy independent is certainly a laudable one, we must use some common sense in getting there.

First, America’s energy needs, under any circumstances, will continue to be heavily dependent on oil and gas for the next 20 years at least. Therefore, it is in the best interests of everyone that we devise a long-term plan for energy independence rather than a knee-jerk approach that will cripple our economy and hurt every American consumer.

In addition, the environmental “solutions” must have a global appeal and address the problems of developing nations as well as our country. In that regard, cap and trade legislation would encourage American companies to move operations to unregulated countries, costing billions in investment and untold hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The main purpose of my letter it to let your readers know that these energy “solutions” are not just directed at big oil and gas companies. The propane industry and its customers, for example, are also at risk.

Higher energy prices will likely result in higher costs for propane consumers, most of whom are in rural parts of our state. And while propane gas is a very clean and affordable fuel at this time, congressional meddling could have an adverse effect on the growth of this promising alternative fuel.

On behalf of the propane industry in Louisiana and the thousands of customers we serve, we encourage our congressional delegation to oppose plans to unfairly tax energy providers or make them operate under onerous cap and trade regulations that would send Louisiana jobs overseas.

Artie Cole,

President, La. Propane Gas Assoc.