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Posted by Randy | October 08, 2015
There are some acts of evil which are so dark and so brutal, that when we see them flash across our TV screens or read the headlines, it sends adrenaline snapping in our veins. Our stomachs churn and our hearts stiffen against the walls of our chest.

The atrocities that are being committed against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are like that. These are war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

I recently cosponsored a resolution demanding that parties to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide fulfill their legal obligations under international agreements and call these atrocities in the Middle East what they are: genocide. The resolution calls on member states of the UN to craft a plan for both halting and punishing these horrific acts of brutality, and commends governments that have undertaken to shelter and protect the victims and innocents who have been displaced. It declares that all who force the migration of religious communities should be tracked, sanctioned, arrested, prosecuted, and punished under the laws where the crimes were committed, and under international criminal statutes.

The world’s message to those committing these crimes against humanity must be crystal clear: we will not rest until justice is served and this genocide stops.
Posted by Randy | August 07, 2015

Whether it’s flipping on a light switch or driving a car to work, each of us interacts with energy every day. With that in mind, I want to hear your thoughts on energy policy and what you believe the federal government needs to be focusing on. Take this quick, two question survey to let me know where you stand:

Rate the importance of energy issues for the federal government to address:

o The most important issue
o One of the top five most important issues
o A somewhat important issue
o Not a very important issue
o Unsure

What do you believe are the most important steps for the federal government to take? 

o Decrease dependency on foreign oil
o Encourage the development of alternative energy
o Lower gas prices
o Reduce pollution
o Pursue offshore energy sources
o Lower energy costs for individuals and businesses
o Other

Your opinion is valuable to me as I make decisions -- take the survey, here.
Posted by Randy | July 28, 2015
Not all education can be effectively accomplished in a classroom.  On-site technical training is invaluable in many industries, especially in the maritime and energy sectors. That’s why I am cosponsoring the Maritime and Energy Workforce Technical Training Enhancement Act, H.R. 2923, to establish maritime workforce training Centers of Excellence and support colleges’ efforts to expand maritime and energy workforce training programs, so our students are best equipped to succeed.

This bill is especially relevant to the 4th District because it prioritizes Centers of Excellence for colleges with existing partnerships with federal agencies or businesses in the public and private sector.  One example of this is Tidewater Community College in Hampton Roads, which has one of the most robust Maritime Workforce and Training Simulation Programs on the East Coast, making it an ideal candidate for a Center of Excellence.  I’m excited about the potential this provides for our students and our employers, and will continue to support initiatives that support our community colleges in the 4th District as they strive to provide critical educational and workforce training.
Posted by Randy | October 31, 2014
I want to know your thoughts on energy policy. You can provide your feedback by taking this brief survey.

How important are energy issues for the federal government to address?
o The most important issue
o One of the top five most important issues
o A somewhat important issue
o Not a very important issue
o Unsure
What are the most important steps you believe the federal government should take? 
o Decrease dependency on foreign oil
o Encourage the development of alternative energy
o Lower gas prices
o Address climate change
o Reduce pollution
o Pursue offshore energy sources
o Lower energy costs for individuals and businesses  
o Other.

Take the survey here.

Posted by Randy | September 19, 2014
This week, the House voted on the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (H.R.2) – a package of 13 bills – to increase domestic energy production, promote new technologies, and improve our energy security.

I believe it’s critical that our nation pursue its own energy resources, develop energy infrastructure projects to create jobs, and reduce the burden to American consumers.  The American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act is a step towards achieving those goals, and securing our nation’s future energy supplies.

I will continue working to expand American-made energy, encourage conservation, and decrease our dependency on foreign oil. 
Posted by Randy | May 02, 2014

On September 19, 2008, backers of the Keystone XL pipeline first submitted an application to the U.S. State Department to build this energy infrastructure project, designed to bring both jobs and greater energy security to the United States of America.

It’s been over five years since that day.
This past January, the State Department issued its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the permit application, confirming the project is safe and will have limited environmental impacts. Despite this, the Obama Administration recently announced that it is indefinitely extending its long-awaited review of the Keystone XL pipeline. 

It is unacceptable for politics to continue to delay a project that will spur economic growth and move us towards greater energy independence.  It’s been 5 long years. Americans are waiting. It is time to build. Click here to share on facebook.                                       

 I have supported the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3), which removes any need for presidential approval of the pipeline, and the Keystone For a Secure Tomorrow Act (H.R. 334), which would allow Congress to directly and immediately approve the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Posted by Randy | August 17, 2012
Reuters reported this week that the White House was considering releasing oil from the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve if gasoline prices do not fall after September 3rd. in order to provide some relief at the gas pump just two months before the November 6th election.

Oil prices have risen sharply in recent weeks, rising 30 cents to $3.71 per gallon, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the Department of Energy’s emergency fuel storage of oil, along the U.S. Gulf coast, with a capacity of 727 million barrels of oil.  According to Bloomberg Business Week, the reserve “currently has 696 million barrels of crude, the equivalent of 80 days worth of oil imports.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) states on its website, “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists, first and foremost, as an emergency response tool the President can use should the United States be confronted with an economically-threatening disruption in oil supplies.”

According to the DOE, a Presidentially-directed release has occurred three times under these conditions. First, in 1991, at the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, the United States joined its allies in assuring the adequacy of global oil supplies when war broke out in the Persian Gulf. The second was in September 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the oil production, distribution, and refining industries in the Gulf regions of Louisiana and Mississippi. The third was announced on June 23, 2011 for 30 million barrels of petroleum to be released to offset the disruption in global oil supplies caused by unrest in Libya and other countries.

A 2011 Congressional Research Service report noted that while the reserve has traditionally been tied to a shortage of oil supplies, “price was deliberately kept out of the president’s . . . drawdown authority because of concerns about what price level would trigger a drawdown, and that any hint of a price threshold could influence private sector and industry inventory practices.”

Question of the week:
Do you support tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to attempt to temporarily alleviate gas prices at the pump?

( ) Yes

( ) No

( ) Other (share your thoughts on my blog here).

Take the poll here.

Find out the results of last week's instapoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 03, 2012
Did you know that opening new offshore areas for American energy exploration could bring a potential 1,900 jobs to Virginia?

Domestic energy production remains an industry where there is significant room for growth and job creation. Yet, the Department of the Interior recently cancelled Virginia's scheduled offshore lease sale for 2011, pushing any possible lease sales to 2018, and the Administration has rejected opening the Keystone XL pipeline, despite the fact that it could create thousands of jobs.

Greater domestic energy production means more jobs for American citizens and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to develop our domestic energy resources, including those available in Virginia (In fact, Governor McDonnell recently signed energy legislation from the Virginia General Assembly that would advance Virginia as the energy capital of the East Coast.)

I have made it a priority in Congress to encourage the development of new energy sources with my New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence, support efforts to increase off-shore drilling, and call for the opening of the Keystone XL Pipeline to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. I’ve also fought against costly regulations that have caused companies like Dominion Power to close plants in Virginia.

The energy industry is ripe to bring more jobs and investment to the Commonwealth and across the United States.

Read more about my work for jobs in Virginia’s Fourth District in this detailed memo.
Posted by Randy | March 02, 2012
This week, the national average hit $3.698 a gallon, according to AAA. The LA Times reports “U.S. motorists have seen the national average for regular gasoline rise above $3.50 a gallon in just three different years, but it has never happened this early. Analysts said the early price shocker is likely a sign that pain at the pump will rise to some of the highest levels ever this year.”  McClatchy Newspapers raises concerns about the impact of high gas prices not just on consumers, but also on economic recovery: “By summer, some analysts said, you could be paying $4 for a gallon of gas, almost as high as the record set in the summer of 2008. A price that high could cripple the still-fragile recovery, as millions of Americans might decide to spend their just-renewed payroll tax cut on gas instead of a new clothes dryer or TV set.”  The rising cost of crude oil across the globe and increasing tensions in the Middle East suggest that prices will continue to skyrocket in coming months, hitting hardworking taxpayers.

Question of the Week: With gas prices spiking at the pump, what solutions do you support to reduce American dependence on foreign oil? 

(  ) I support offshore drilling.
(  ) I support opening the Keystone pipeline to deliver oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in Houston.
(  ) I support increasing exploration of natural gas.
(  ) I support aggressively pursuing renewable energy development.
(  ) I support comprehensive solutions like the New Manhattan Project that bring together scientists and researchers in the U.S. in a competitive format for innovative solutions.
(  ) Other (leave your comment below)
(  ) I am unsure.

Take the poll here.

Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | February 29, 2012
A snapshot of gas prices in America (from the Republican Study Committee):

How are rising gas prices affecting your family? Read about my work to address rising energy costs here.
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