Business & Economy
Gas Prices and Domestic Energy Production PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:01

Friday, March 2, 2012


During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley discusses the need to increase production of domestic energy to help lower gas prices and create jobs.  Along with other senators, he’s urging President Obama to examine his policies that contribute to higher gas prices, including restricting access to federal lands and permitting delays, regulatory threats to refiners, and his Keystone XL pipeline decision.



Click here for audio.


Here is text of the address:


Along with other senators, I wrote to President Obama this week asking him to examine his policies that contribute to rising gas prices -- such as:

  • restricting access to federal lands and permitting delays,
  • regulatory threats to refiners,
  • and his Keystone XL pipeline decision.


A lot of factors impact the price of oil – including OPEC decisions and Mideast turmoil -- but the Obama Administration has made things worse.  By limiting domestic energy production, we have less supply and higher prices.


Last year, consumers spent a greater percentage of household income on gasoline than any other year since 1981.

  • Paying $4 or more for gas acts like a hidden tax on individuals and families.
  • Rising energy prices also get in the way of job creation by raising costs of doing business for employers.


Americans need a comprehensive approach that:

  • ramps up domestic production of traditional energy,
  • allows the expansion of alternative and renewable energy sources,
  • and encourages conservation.


Greater domestic energy production would increase supply and help to lower prices, and it would create American jobs.




Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Among Top 10 States for Corporate Locations in National Survey PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Annie Thompson   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 07:54

Illinois Gains Over Last Year’s Ranking


CHICAGO – March 1, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state of Illinois and Chicago have been named among the top 10 locations for new and expanded corporate facilities. Illinois ranked seventh among states, an improvement over last year’s eighth place ranking, and Chicago second in the metropolitan areas category in the annual analysis by Site Selection magazine, one of the nation’s premier corporate real estate and economic development publications.


“We are committed to creating jobs and working hard to make Illinois an even more attractive place to do business not only in the Midwest, but globally,” Governor Quinn said. “We have an aggressive long-term strategy for bringing quality jobs to Illinois, which includes innovation, exports and foreign investment, business-friendly legislation, and addressing infrastructure needs. We will continue to do everything we can to further our economic growth and create jobs in Illinois.”


In 2011, Illinois had 216 corporate facilities locate or expand in the state. Illinois joins Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia on the list of the top ten states with the most locations and expansions. With 167 projects, the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area ranked second on the list of cities in the tier one, top ten metropolitan areas list. Illinois companies that have relocated or seen significant expansions this year include Ford, Motorola Mobility, Continental, FedEx, Chrysler and Mitsubishi, among others.


“We are pleased that Illinois has again been named to Site Selection’s top 10 list for new and expanded corporate facilities,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley. “Illinois is one of the top business destinations in the nation for good reason, and we will continue to direct our efforts toward attracting and keeping investment in the state, creating jobs for the future and strengthening our economy.”


The Governor’s Cup analyses, issued by Site Selection magazine, are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” Site Selection is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development field and the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at The magazine’s circulation base consists of 44,000 executives involved in corporate site selection decisions, most at the CEO/President/COO level.



New Interagency Trade Enforcement Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 09:07

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the President’s executive order creating a new Interagency Trade Enforcement Center within the office of the United States Trade Representative.

“When U.S. trading partners violate their obligations, the U.S. trade representative’s office already should be taking the lead and working with other agencies to take action as needed.  I’m skeptical that a new Interagency Trade Enforcement Center is necessary to ramp up enforcement against trading partners who are playing fast and loose with trade rules.  There’s nothing to stop the United States from bringing more cases now.  I plan to press the trade representative on the need for this new entity when he comes before the Senate Finance Committee soon.  If this new center gets up and running, there should be real results to back up the presidential pronouncement.  The pressure will be on the White House to deliver.”

Braley Calls on Obama to Open Strategic Petroleum Reserve PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:44

Gas prices have increased for 22 consecutive days; some analysts forecast $5 by summer


Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today called on President Barack Obama to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help reduce spiking gasoline prices.


Gas prices have increased for 22 consecutive days nationally, and according to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Iowa today is $3.53.  The average price has spiked 20 cents in the past two weeks alone.  Some analysts have projected that gas prices could reach $5 per gallon in some parts of the country by summertime.


“Rising gas prices stretch Iowans’ pocketbooks and threaten our fragile economic recovery,” Braley said.  “We should nip this problem in the bud right now.


“Rather than waiting for politicians in Congress to bicker endlessly and take no action, I’m calling on President Obama to take decisive action now and release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Each time it’s been opened in the past, its lowered gas prices – up to 33 percent in some cases.”


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in testimony before a Congressional panel earlier today that spiking gas prices are a temporary threat to the economic recovery.


Gas prices are increasing because of speculation and Iran saber-rattling, not increased demand.  In fact, gasoline demand is at its lowest level in the US since 1997.


Obama released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year in response to disruptions in oil supplies caused by conflict in Libya.


Audio of Braley discussing his call for Obama to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during his weekly press conference call can be downloaded at the following link:


# # #

AARP Urges Legislature to Professionalize Iowa’s Largest Workforce: Direct Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ann Black   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:33

Des Moines, February 29, 2012—AARP called on the Iowa Legislature to professionalize Iowa’s largest workforce - Direct Care Workers, asking the question, “Is Iowa Prepared to Care?” for our rapidly aging population during a news conference this morning at the Iowa Statehouse.


AARP Iowa State Director Kent Sovern urged Iowa’s lawmakers to take action and pass Senate File 2298, a bill to boost professionalism among direct care workers by establishing core state standards for training and create career pathways for advance and specialization, and creates a Board to oversee these professional standards.  “AARP is pleased and proud to champion this effort to professionalize this workforce,” said Sovern.


With an estimated 73,000 direct care workers in Iowa, these paid caregivers make up the largest segment of Iowa’s workforce.  Moreover, demand for direct care services is high and growing.  Iowa will need an additional 12,000 direct care workers by 2012.  High turnover is a persistent challenge.


AARP Iowa State President Tony Vola addressed how this legislation will meet the needs and expectations of the more than 375,000 AARP members in Iowa for quality care.  “It is interesting to note that seven years ago, 8 out of 10 AARP Iowans surveyed said it is important for Iowa to certify direct care workers, and about a quarter of them said they think these workers are already licensed.  This bill provides a great platform for training; it provides an entry for people who want to get into the profession; it provides a great acknowledgement for those who are currently in the profession, and most important, it’s just the right thing to do,” said Vola.


AARP volunteer Ken Crouchman of Clive whose parents are live in assisted living facilities, said staff turnover is a real concern for his family and his parents’ quality of care.  “I see the toll that this ever-changing parade of caregivers takes on my parents, and I feel the recommendations of Iowa’s Direct Care Workers will help improve their situation.  I believe Senate File 2298 will go a long way to elevate the profession and better serve Iowa’s long-term care needs.


Iowa’s direct care workers have taken the lead in attempting to address the challenges of turnover and quality assurance by spending the past two years developing the recommendations proposed by Senate File 2298, a groundbreaking approach unlike any other state.


Iowa Caregivers Association Public Policy Consultant John Hale said, “Senate File 2298 puts us on the path to providing the quality of care and services that every Iowan wants for their loved ones and for themselves.  “It’s a bill that creates a win-win-win-win: for providers of health and long term care services, for consumers who access those services, for workers who provide the service and for the taxpayers who pay a large portion of the bill.

Senate File 2298 is another example of where Iowa way out in front of the nation.  The work that’s being done in Iowa to build a bigger and better direct care workforce, and to enhance the quality of care and services for Iowans, is work that leads the nation,” Hale said.


Currently, Iowa has professional oversight boards and requires qualitative credentialing for all plumbers, hair stylists, massage therapists and a host of other occupations, but does not require a similar credentialing for all direct care workers.


“It’s time to act to give Iowa’s direct care workers the recognition and professional status they want and deserve, and to create the environment necessary for workers to meet the growing health care needs of our state,” said Sovern.  “It is time for the Iowa Legislature to support the recommendations of the Direct Care Worker Task Force and professionalize Direct Care Workers by taking action to pass Senate File 2298.”


About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.



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