FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2005
Contact: Neal Ullman, 406-254-2006
Rehberg Ignores High Gas Prices
"Gas prices are out of control, we can't afford to pretend there's not a problem," said Lindeen
(BILLINGS, Mont.) - Today, U.S. House candidate Monica Lindeen (D-Huntley) pledged to make gas prices and energy policy a priority when elected to Congress. Lindeen urged Rep. Dennis Rehberg to live up to his rhetoric and take action on this critical issue facing Montana families. Lindeen realizes that gas prices are out of control and are hurting the livelihoods of working Montanans.
"Montanans already spend enough money on gas to drive to work or for their tractors on the farm," said congressional candidate Monica Lindeen. "We need to do everything we can to bring down gas prices but Rep. Rehberg decided it was no longer a priority. I hope he realizes that as everyday, working Montanans are forced to pay more than is needed for gasoline, it becomes more difficult to afford better lives for themselves and for their children."
"Representative Dennis Rehberg flip-flopped on making lowering gas prices a priority," said Lindeen. Last week, Rehberg voted against prosecuting price gouging - even as Montana families pay some of the highest gas prices in history. Rehberg has taken nearly $170,000 from the oil and gas industry as a candidate for elective office [http://www.crp.org/politicians/allindus.asp?CID=N00004645].
Three weeks ago Rep. Rehberg said that lowering gas prices should "be a priority" and that "the public is saying, 'Gas prices are killing us out here.'" At the time he recommended suspending the state and federal gas tax, even though the loss of gas tax revenue would jeopardize goodpaying Montana highway jobs.
Last week, Rep. Rehberg's priorities were in a different place. He followed his party leadership, including indicted Republican Leader Tom DeLay, opposing giving the Justice Department authority to prosecute oil companies engaged in price gouging and imposing tough new criminal penalties for gouging [HR 3402, Roll Call #500, 09/28/05].
"We need to do everything we can to lower the cost of gas and passing this legislation should be one of them. We need a representative who will do everything necessary to protect families. By voting against this motion, Representative Rehberg has shown he isn't willing to do that. Montanans don't need a politician who will say one thing and then vote the opposite way. Working families need a fighter in Washington who will look out for Montanans first, not their party leaders or special interest groups," said Lindeen.
The motion to give the Justice Department authority to prosecute oil companies engaged in price gouging involving gas prices, home heating oil, or natural gas came from Reps. Bart Stupak (DMI) and Stephanie Herseth (D-SD). The motion failed on a 195-226 vote.