On behalf of the nation’s leading small business advocacy group, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), I am writing to express our strong support for allowing increased offshore oil and gas exploration. Small business owners are extremely worried about the high price of fuel and its impact on their business and the economy.
In our recently completed 2008 Small Business Problems and Priorities survey, NFIB members ranked the Cost of Natural Gas, Propane, Gasoline, Diesel and Fuel Oil as their second greatest concern, with 42% of NFIB members surveyed indicating that this problem is “critical.” NFIB publishes this survey every four years, and this same issue ranked 4th in our 2004 version and 10th in our 2000 survey. It is clear that the problem of high fuel prices is reaching a crucial point for small business.
Small business owners need immediate relief from high energy costs, and drilling offshore is a critical step towards increasing the domestic supply of oil and natural gas and reducing prices at the pump. Unlike some of their larger competitors, escalating fuel prices hit small businesses particularly hard because they often must absorb these cost increases instead of passing them on to their customers.
In order for our economy to regain its footing, we must be able to meet the energy needs of small businesses, and I urge your strong support of this important energy policy.
Executive Vice President
Federal Public Policy and Political