Cardin says Senate needs to act now to lower gas prices

June 11, 2008 - 18:22


Washington, DC – Speaking from the floor of the Senate today, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) expressed outrage and frustration at the procedural tactics being used to block legislation that could provide relief to Americans struggling with the high cost of filling their gas tanks. His full statement is available at “Americans are frustrated about the high cost of energy. They remember that, when President Bush took office nearly eight years ago, a gallon of regular gas cost less than $1.50; today it’s at an all-time high of $4.02 per gallon. Rising costs at the pump are having a direct, negative impact on families and particularly small businesses that rely on their cars and delivery trucks for their livelihood. Many are on the brink of going out of business because they cannot absorb the price hikes. I join with the majority of the American public and say the status quo is not acceptable,” said Senator Cardin. “The Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008 would have made a major difference in the cost of energy here in the United States in the short-term and the long-term. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill that would have addressed the root causes of high gas prices by holding the big oil companies, speculators, and OPEC accountable. “I happen to believe the oil industry is entitled to make a profit and work in the interest of their shareholders, but not at the taxpayers’ expense. In 2005, President Bush said that at $55 a barrel there was no need for the government to subsidize further efforts on behalf of the oil industry. Well, the price is now $140 a barrel, so the $17 billion subsidies we're providing should be reinvested here in America rather than subsidizing even greater profits for oil companies. Let's use that for making this nation energy secure. Let's use it to develop renewable energy sources so we can shake the chains of dependence on foreign oil.” “The American public wants us to set aside partisan differences and act responsibly on their behalf. For the sake of our national security, our economy and our environment, we must act quickly.”

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