STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE FILL SUSPENSION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - May 13, 2008)
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Mr. LAMPSON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank the leadership of both Chairman Dingell and Ranking Member Barton on what is being done and has been done for a long time with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in making sure that it stays strong and effective for us at a time that we do need it and will need it. And I think that if we keep cool heads and look for simple ways that we can reach and try to find commonsense solutions to some of the problems that we face, then we're going to have a good solution to those problems.
And we are taking one step today. That's all. One of hopefully many to try to curb the price of gasoline for the American consumer and invest in alternative energy research to provide for the long-term energy solutions that we're going to need. Many of these things are going to be required for us to get the price of gasoline down to the point where we're going to be comfortable again, and let's hope that we accomplish it.
This bill directs the President to suspend shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve through the end of the year or until prices drop below $75 a barrel.
High oil prices are straining family budgets at the pump, and we know that they're driving prices up on groceries and other household goods. And families are starting to rethink even summer vacations, and it's going to have a negative impact on so many of our communities that depend on tourism. This ripple effect, well, from the high price of gasoline and diesel, there's going to be a touch to every family, to every industry, to every person, to every business in the United States and even around the globe.
Not realizing the urgency of this situation is naive. Consumers need lower prices now, not later. This bill provides a quick first step, maybe not much, but at least it's an action on the part of our Congress.
When I first introduced similar legislation affecting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve back in January, gas was $3.11 a gallon. Now it's $3.73 a gallon. It has gone up 11 cents in the last week. And if the President turns a blind eye to the needs of the American people, we may see gasoline go to $5, $6, or $7 a gallon.
Consider this: The Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been tapped and suspended four times by the last three Presidents.
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