Lindeen Says Rehberg Supports Big Oil, High Gas Prices
By JIM GRANSBERY
Of The Gazette Staff
Monica Lindeen, a Democratic candidate for Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House on Thursday, called on Rep. Dennis Rehberg, R-Mont., to commit to real action to bring down gas prices for Montanans.
Rehberg is running for his fourth term this year. Lindeen is one of two Democrats running for the office, along with a Missoula Libertarian.
"Dennis Rehberg has only delivered empty promises when it comes to fighting high gas prices," Lindeen said. "That's because he's been too busy saying 'fill 'er up' to the big oil and gas corporations when it comes to his campaign fund."
"After he told us last fall that lowering gas prices should be a priority, Dennis Rehberg voted with his party leadership against holding big oil companies accountable," Lindeen said.
Lindeen said the oil and gas industry has given Rehberg nearly $125,000 since he was elected to Congress.
Lindeen took after Rehberg Thursday at a press conference at his district office in Billings.
"We don't need posturing," Lindeen said. "We need a real commitment to bringing down gas prices for Montana families -- we need a return on the investment we make every day when we give big oil billions in tax breaks."
Lindeen added that it is far past time to allow the Justice Department to investigate price gouging by the big oil corporations.
"As Dennis Rehberg was filling his campaign coffers, he also voted for billions in tax breaks for energy producers," Lindeen said. She also noted that Rehberg voted twice to protect big oil companies against prosecution for price gouging.
Rehberg was not available Thursday for comment.
Dustin Frost, his campaign manager, said Thursday afternoon that Rehberg in the first vote was opposed to recommitting the Justice Department appropriations bill to committee because it contained a reauthorization of the violence-against-women program.
Frost said the second vote was against an amendment offered by Democrats but that he supported a Republican version that provided investigation of price gouging.
He said it was offensive for Lindeen to suggest that Rehberg was casting votes connected with campaign donations from energy companies.
On Tuesday, President Bush announced an investigation into possible gasoline price fixing, and he proposed eliminating certain tax breaks for oil companies whose record profits are fueling public anger.
Published on Friday, April 28, 2006.