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Local Editorials

A challenge for 2013: Energy reliability

Part of the Sauk Valley has a new congressman who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee. We urge U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger to focus on energy availability and affordability.

Lee and Ogle counties are among the counties of the 16th Congressional District that gained a new representative last week.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, is that representative.

Kinzinger defeated U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo, a 10-term Republican from Ogle County, in last year’s primary election. Then Kinzinger defeated an Ottawa Democrat, Wanda Rohl, to capture his second term.

Bureau County is already familiar with Kinzinger, as his former 11th District included part of it.

By the way, Lee County’s former congressman, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, is still in the House, but redistricting moved his district boundaries closer to his suburban home.

So, for residents of Lee, Ogle and Bureau counties, Rep. Kinzinger is their man in Congress.

The youthful Kinzinger, 34, of Channahon, already has put in 2 years of service on the Energy and Commerce Committee. It is there where he could render important service to the people of the Sauk Valley.

Energy is an overriding issue in all facets of residents’ lives. It’s an economic development issue as well.

Energy in its various forms must be available and affordable so as to not serve as a drain on the profits of businesses, the treasuries of government, and the checking accounts of consumers.

Kinzinger needs to push for common-sense energy policies that promote the availability and affordability of energy.

Those policies must cover a wide swath: petroleum, gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, ethanol, biofuels, wind energy, solar energy, nuclear energy, hydoelectric plants, biomass, and more.

Renewable energy and alternative energy must be given their due, of course, but not at the expense of the traditional energy sources upon which the nation still depends.

These are exciting times in the energy field. North Dakota oil fields have greatly increased production because of fracking, and natural gas prices are more friendly to the wallet.

In the past, Kinzinger has said he is committed to advancing nuclear production at home and focusing on energy independence. We like the sound of that.

After being sworn in last week, Kinzinger called for spending cuts, passage of a budget, and comprehensive tax reform. He also called for greater focus on growing the private sector, where jobs are created.

An intensive effort to improve supplies of domestic energy, keeping it available and affordable, would support that goal and assist the Sauk Valley’s economic recovery.

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