The skyrocketing cost of gas is hurting families in Northwest Washington. High fuel costs are making it more difficult for families to pay the bills, for community groups to feed the hungry and for local businesses to thrive and create jobs.
Get Gas Prices Under Control
We need a comprehensive energy policy to reduce prices at the pump and break our addiction to foreign oil. There is no easy answer to reducing the price of gas. But there are steps we can take to help get prices under control. This summer, Congress:
* Took action to investigate price gouging and ensure that retailers aren't artificially inflating the cost of gas.
* Directed the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on energy market manipulation that may be driving up prices by as much as $20 to $60 more per barrel.
* Suspended oil shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase the supply of oil available.
Reduce Our Dependence on Foreign Oil
Each of these is an important step. But we need to go beyond these fixes to invest in clean energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. To help reduce our addiction to foreign oil, Congress has:
* Passed a landmark energy bill that invests in alternative fuels and makes cars and trucks more fuel-efficient, saving consumers $22 billion at the pump in one year alone.
* Passed investments in renewable and alternative energy and reduced taxpayer subsidies for oil companies.
* Passed a Farm Bill that makes a historic investment in biofuels made from crops other than grain.
Invest in Renewable Energy
In addition, the House has passed "tax extender" legislation to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency and help create thousands of jobs. I will continue working to get this legislation through Congress and signed into law.
Exploration & Drilling: Use it or lose it!
Right now, sixty-eight million acres of federal oil reserves that are available for drilling are not being used. And while the amount of land available for drilling has increased dramatically in the last decade, the cost of gas has tripled. I support legislation to require oil companies to "use it or lost it" - start drilling on the land they have already leased or let someone else take over who will. Opening more land for drilling is not the answer, whether it's drilling off the Pacific Coast, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or in other pristine lands.
The United States needs a comprehensive energy strategy to reduce prices at the pump and break our addiction to foreign oil. To date, Congress has passed legislation to crack down on energy market manipulation and price-gouging, save Americans money at the pump by making cars more fuel-efficient and made critical investments in cleaner fuels. More must be done, and I will continue working to invest the energy of our country in the energy of our future.