Temperatures around Arkansas may be on the rise, but that does not diminish the real hardships Americans faced the past few months as a result of our nation’s propane shortage. During the coldest days of last winter, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that propane stocks were as much as 43% lower than the previous year, causing energy prices to double, or even triple, since October. This is why I led a bipartisan coalition of senators that tried to get the Obama administration to provide relief by temporarily suspending regulations that drive up the cost of shipping propane.

As the weather begins to warm up, it might be easy to forget the struggles caused by this winter’s propane shortage. However, if we simply let the challenges Americans experienced disappear, we’ll be right back in the same position next winter. In reality, this crisis underscores the need for a smart energy policy.

A smart energy policy will not impose heavy-handed rules that reduce energy supplies like we are facing with propane. Despite what the President says, the new climate regulations he is considering would would not impact the global climate, but will reduce our access to energy. Any day now, I expect the President to promise “if you like affordable energy, you can keep affordable energy.” But like his other promises, we know that it’s sadly not true.

It’s time to recognize that shortages and high energy prices hurt families, farmers, and businesses. So let’s do something about it, like immediately approving the Keystone Pipeline--which will make it easier to move energy from where it’s produced to the people who need it--and let us also start planning for the future so we don’t find ourselves out in the cold next winter.

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