Arkansas Senator Talks Energy Costs and How To Lower Them

JONESBORO, AR  (KAIT) -- With gas and heating prices soaring, the energy crisis is hitting people where it hurts most...the wallet.  A Region 8 lawmaker is doing her part to ease the pain at the pump.

"The energy crisis is hitting people in rural states at a greater proportion than it is in other areas. We don't have the luxury often times in rural areas of mass transit, and we have to travel further distances," said Arkansas Senator, Blanche Lincoln.

A bipartisan group, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln helped start, is efforting a plan to bring immediate relief to consumers. They also want to develop a comprehensive plan to tackle rising energy costs.

"Like conservation, as well as making sure that we're making readily available more resources. Looking at sustainable policies for the future which focus on renewable fuels that will lessen our dependence on foreign oil," said Lincoln.

Senator Lincoln says it's imperative we make good use of the resources we already have-- and focus on investing in renewable energies like solar and wind power.

"Also recognizing that we have a lot of resources in this country...oil that can be more readily available than other sources, and making sure that we don't count those out.....drilling in places where we have got the infrastructure to get to that oil.  We know that it's there, and we can get it to consumers quickly is a practical thing," said Lincoln.

Lincoln says the expansion of refineries is something the group has also focused on. She says drilling in places where there is oil and the proper infrastructure to get the oil, simply makes sense.

"We don't need to drill in places where we don't know what or how much oil exists, and that it's not close to the infrastructure that we need because it's going to be 5, 10, 15 years before that's going to be beneficial to us," said Lincoln.

Any senate bill would need 60 votes to proceed.  Most republicans are not expected to support the group's proposal-- which would cost 84-billion dollars and require tax increases.