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Daines stops in Bozeman to talk energy policy

Published On: Jul 03 2013 06:43:21 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Earlier this week, we told you how 40 million people are set to hit the roads this Fourth of July holiday. That means more folks at gas stations like these. Congressman Steve Daines stopped in Bozeman to ask folks their concerns about gas prices and possible solutions.

"Less spending money elsewhere the higher the prices go," says Bozeman resident Willie Franzmann.

Franzmann gets gas on his way to work. He lives in Bozeman but works in Four Corners. He tells me high prices at the pump mean sacrifice.

"My wife just left on a trip and I stayed, partially to make money so we can cover the gas price of the trip," says Franzmann.

He says he's gotten into the habit of fueling up every other day, only putting in $20 to $30 at a time.

"It's just convenience, I guess. I have to get drinks and stuff, too," Franzmann says.
Story Distributing Company President Doug Alexander says it's that kind of attitude that can hurt business.

"They have so much dispensable income to use and if a lot of that is taken into fuel prices, they're not going to spend as much money for items that we might sell within our stories and also lodging and restaurants," explains Alexander.

He tells me his business in the Gallatin Valley is up even though, nationwide, folks are traveling less.                                   

"A lot of it is based on supply and demand," Alexander tells me.

It's why Congressman Steve Daines thinks he might have a solution.

"We have to fight for policies here that allow Montana families to be able to afford the gas pump and that means expanding production through the Keystone Pipeline and keeping prices down," says Representative Daines.

Daines tells me we're only 10 years away from energy independence. He says the adoption of such policies will create a nation that can not only feed itself, but fuel itself as well.