Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congressman John Larsen says crafting a new energy policy is a top priority this fall.
Larsen says Americans are tired of oil companies earning record profits while many residents are having trouble paying their bills.
He says one of the items Congress will take up is whether to expand heating assistance.
"Certainly you want them to be able to heat and cool their homes affordably. And we'll have to make the steps necessary to do that including LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) provisions for the poor - and the not-so-poor frankly given the cost of oil."
Larson says America's dependence on foreign oil can be reduced by taking specific steps.
"We can't drill our way out of this problem. It's not that we shouldn't be drilling of course, we should and we will. But we ought to utilize the land that's already been granted for the oil companies to begin. And if they're not going to use it, shouldn't they give it back to the public so we can further auction it? And use the royalties that we'll insist upon to make sure we're putting them into alternative forms of energy that will truly make us energy independent."
Larsen says previous attempts to pass new energy policies have passed in the House but were blocked in the Senate