With gasoline prices nearing $4/gal., both President Obama and the Senate Agriculture Committee addressed rising fuel costs and how best to shape U.S. energy policy.

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee (who helmed a hearing titled “Evaluating High Gas Prices and How New Rules and Innovative Farming Can Help”) highlighted reports claiming, “as many as 600,000 jobs could be at risk because of the recent spikes in gas prices. High prices are squeezing farmers and squeezing middle-class families who live on tight budgets. When businesses pay more for fuel, they’re unable to hire and retain employees – that’s a dangerous place to be in a fragile national economy.”

Certainly, continued Stabenow, “supply and demand plays a significant role (in the higher prices). But we also know it isn’t quite as straightforward as that. … We need a real American energy policy and agriculture has a very important leadership role to play.”

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