ST. LOUIS -- With this week's shutdown of the BP pipeline in Alaska's North Slope, which serves as the U.S.'s single biggest source of crude oil, oil prices immediately jumped $2 a barrel, ensuring even higher prices at the pump for Missouri consumers. Today, U.S. Senate Candidate Claire McCaskill highlighted the irony that Missouri drivers are getting hit with higher gas prices because of the shut down of the BP pipeline, even after the U.S. Government has given billions to oil companies already making record profits.
"This summer has not been kind to Missouri drivers," said McCaskill. "There is a lack of leadership in Washington and we are suffering for it at the pump. The rising gas prices we face now are the direct results of a short-sighted energy policy that helps big oil more than it helps increase our energy independence and security."
BP's closing of their pipeline this week, which was initiated after discovering severe corrosion, is not an isolated incident. Just five months ago, BP's aging pipeline created the largest-ever oil spill on Alaska's North Slope , prompting the U.S. Department of Transportation to order BP to improve its corrosion inspections.
Rather than repairing the pipeline, BP -- the world's second-largest publicly traded energy company -- sat by and did nothing as they raked in record profits and prioritized the investment of these profits on foreign production of oil. Now, Missouri families, who have been faced with record high gas prices all summer, will have to foot the bill for infrastructure damages caused by BP's neglect.
"Let me get this straight," said McCaskill. "While oil companies are receiving record tax breaks and posting record profits, we are paying record gas prices. Now, because these companies refused to maintain their pipelines, we are all forced to pay the price. That is not right."
Missouri families have already been footing the bill for the unwillingness of the Bush administration and Republican Congress to hold oil and gas companies accountable for price-gouging at the pumps, while failing to put a plan in place for real energy reform. McCaskill vowed to actively pursue a responsible energy policy to bring down gas prices and increase America's energy independence.
"Years of irresponsible energy legislation have put our country on the brink of a full-blown energy crisis," said McCaskill. "When I go to Washington , I will fight for a responsible energy plan that will protect consumers, encourage alternative fuels, and reduce our reliance on oil through developing renewable sources of energy. Missourians deserve a Senator on our side."
Read the Report: Missouri Gas Prices Near Record Highs Due to Oil Company's Negligence
Read more about McCaskill's Energy Independence for Missouri plan.