Like many of you, I am tired of paying at least three dollars per gallon to fill up my truck and my wife’s car. Gas prices have risen by about 20 cents in south-central Michigan over the last month, and a barrel of oil now sells for $109 and could get even more expensive. Some experts are even predicting a gallon of gas could cost $4 dollars this summer.

This is unacceptable, and I am sure it is to you. I am working hard on solutions that will bring down the price of gas.

I believe the answer to our current energy situation is simple: we need to break our dependence on foreign oil. America needs to become energy independent and turn to alternative energy sources like solar, wind, cellulosic ethanol, bio-diesel, hydrogen, and other clean alternatives, and in the short term, increase carbon-free nuclear power and clean-coal technology rather than increase our reliance on Middle East energy. We also need to encourage conservation, such as green buildings, and allow exploration in Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year, I had the opportunity to drive an American built, hydrogen powered fuel-cell vehicle made by General Motors. I believe there is great potential for zero emission cars like the one I drove. To help develop hydrogen technology, I voted for the H-Prize (H.R. 632) last year. This legislation would award competitive cash prizes biennially to advance the research, development demonstration, and commercial application of hydrogen energy technologies and would work through a public-private partnership to award advancements in hydrogen technology. The House passed this innovative measure, and I hope the Senate will soon follow.