Chairman Frank Lucas issued the following statement after the four principals met today to discuss outstanding issues relating to the farm bill.
Rural America Solutions Group Co-Chairs Call on Obama Officials to Deliver Economic Relief to Danville Metropolitan Area
Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to the Danville metropolitan area of Virginia as part of the Administration’s rural America listening tour. Co-Chairs of the Rural America Solutions Group Frank Lucas (R-OK), Sam Graves (R-MO), and Doc Hastings (R-WA), released the following statement regarding tomorrow’s event:
“Unemployment in Virginia has doubled in the past year and a half – and rural residents of the Commonwealth need real help – not more rhetoric. Unfortunately, when Obama Administration officials visit the greater Danville area tomorrow, they probably won’t explain the facts surrounding the President’s National Energy Tax and government-run health care plan. The truth is that these proposals are expected to devastate rural America by spiking energy bills, increasing unemployment and shutting down small businesses.
“During the campaign, President Obama pledged to hold a bipartisan rural summit and take action on a rural agenda in his first 100 days. But unfortunately, his promise turned out to just be empty campaign rhetoric. Republicans on the Rural America Solutions Group will continue to call upon the Administration and Democrats in Congress to take action to help rural Americans in southwest Virginia, and all across the country, who are struggling during these difficult economic times.”
By the Numbers – What The Democrats’ National Energy Tax Means to Virginia:
7. 2 %: Virginia currently faces a 7.2% unemployment rate, double the unemployment rate at the start of the recession in December 2007 (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). Danville has the highest unemployment rate of all metropolitan areas in Virginia. (Source: Virginia Employment Commission) Virginia residents cannot afford to see their electricity rates and gas prices spike as a result of the Democrats’ National Energy Tax.
45.2%: Virginia residents receive 45.2% of their electricity from coal. (Source: American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity) This means that the electricity costs of families and businesses would soar under the Democrats’ National Energy Tax because this tax will make the coal industry pay more for emitting carbon.
47,000: There are 47,000 farms in Virginia (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture). Farmers will pay more for fuel, electricity, fertilizer, and chemicals under the Democrats’ National Energy Tax because agriculture production is an energy-intensive industry.
25%: Americans in rural areas, like the greater Danville area, travel 25% more than residents in urban areas (Source: U.S. Federal Highway data), meaning rural residents would disproportionately suffer from the Democrats’ National Energy Tax.
631,000: Virginia has more than 631,000 small businesses that would suffer as a result of increased electricity costs due to the Democrats’ National Energy Tax. (Source: Small Business Administration 2008 Virginia Profile)
$365 million: Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in 2012 will face a $365 million Gross State Product loss as a result of the Democrats’ National Energy Tax. (Source: Heritage Foundation)
$524 million: Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in 2012 will face a $524 million Personal Income Loss as a result of the Democrats’ National Energy Tax. (Source: Heritage Foundation)
$23.8 million: Electricity costs in Virginia will increase by $23.8 million as a result of the Democrats’ National Energy Tax. (Source: National Mining Association)
$1.9 billion: Virginia will incur more than a $1.9 billion increase in fuel costs in 2012 as a result of the Democrats’ National Energy Tax. (Source: American Petroleum Institute)