Weekly Column, WLS 890 AM - Illinois Tops the Nation in Gas Prices
By: Congressman Roskam
At a time like this in Illinois, when we are facing increased energy bills at home, our families cannot afford to get hit again at the gas pump. I am at work in Washington seeking a comprehensive, long-term resolution to our energy needs, but our families need all the help they can get now. While gas prices have climbed all over the country, Illinois now has the most expensive gas in the country. A number of sound proposals have been made in the Illinois General Assembly to address state taxation of gas, and I encourage my former colleagues to act quickly.
Illinois is one of only eight states that charges a sales tax on top of a motor fuel tax. This situation is absurd. We pay taxes on our taxes. Illinois carries the inglorious reputation of imposing the #6 ranked tax burden on gasoline sales; 52 cents out of the cost of every gallon of gas in Illinois is tax.
Gas pricing is complex, and Congress needs to carefully assess what must be done to encourage domestic production of energy to expand and diversify our energy supply. We can be doing more to explore domestically. Earlier in the work of this Congress, I voted for legislation that will make alternative fuels more compatible with existing distribution infrastructure. Our refinery capacity is inadequate, and we can do more to enable the growth of the refining industry. These are steps we can take toward increasing domestic energy production, and steps that will bring us closer to a more secure homeland.
We all are interested and engaged in the issue of gas prices when the prices are well over $3 per gallon, but we need to take care to not let up on the push for solutions when prices eventually recede. We face an intricate challenge here, but I am looking forward to continuing to work in this promising time toward a responsible energy policy.