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U.S. House passes Lower Costs Energy Act, it now goes to Senate

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata along with other House members
Source: Uifa’atali Amata’a Washington D.C. office press release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is highlighting passage of H.R. 1, the Lower Costs Energy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, sending this major bill to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

“I represent the people of American Samoa, where fuel and shipping costs are causing higher prices for almost everything, and average wages to pay for it are a fraction of anywhere in the 50 states,” Aumua Amata said. “Transportation from an island in the South Pacific to anywhere in the world is extremely expensive. Infrastructure is an enormous challenge; we have infrastructure needs across the board from the hospital to sea walls. That construction requires costly shipping. We import all sorts of basic products, with exceptions such as the fresh fruits we raise on the island. Our cannery requires shipping for materials, then ships the tuna that millions of Americans depend on.

“As an island territory, even in times of prosperity, we always face additional economic and geographic challenges because we are so remote, and this is a constant part of my message in Washington,” Amata continued. “Now, we suddenly face double economic challenges – the Biden administration has announced drastic new restrictions that unfortunately threaten our fishing-based economy in the South Pacific through confiscation of our waters without consultation with us, even as the price of fuel puts pressure on all local commerce.

“This is major legislation with the goal of reducing fuel prices, and I was supportive of this effort in the Committee of the Whole, and in the Natural Resources Committee. We need to get the cost of shipping down, so we can hold the cost of local food and construction down, and make sure all the people of American Samoa, with our high rates of veterans and military families, can afford the necessities of life.”