Issue Position: Gas Prices
In 2001, when President Bush took office, the price of gas was $1.47 and a barrel of oil cost $23.59. Now, gas is $4.00 and the price of oil has soared over $140 a barrel.
With gas prices continuing to soar, working families and small businesses are hurting and looking for help. We must put the needs of struggling families ahead of partisan politics and act with a sense of urgency. Understanding that, Congressman Murphy has pushed for short-term relief and long-term solutions through a series of initiatives that would save consumers money at the pump and help us declare our energy independence.
Lowering taxes and putting more oil on the market will help drive down fuel costs. With that in mind, Congressman Murphy voted to temporarily stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which would put another 70,000 barrels of oil back on the market every day. In a short time, this could save families $.24 per gallon. Congressman Murphy also supported a paid-for federal gas tax holiday, which would save folks another $.18 per gallon and does not borrow from the highway trust fund. He also supports legislation that cuts taxes on fuel purchases by small businesses.
Congressman Murphy has also fought for legislation that stops price gouging and artificial increases by oil companies. It is not fair for oil speculators to make millions on the backs of hard-working Americans. Congressman Murphy backs legislation that would crack down on speculators who are manipulating oil prices to make enormous profits. This could cut the cost of a barrel of oil.
To finally solve the energy crisis and declare our energy independence, we need a long-term investment in renewable energy. As we pursue that goal, we must increase domestic oil production. That means forcing oil companies to drill on the 68 million acres of federal land to which they already have access. By sitting on their hands, these companies drive up gas prices and, in turn, make record profits, giving them little motivation to drill. Congressman Murphy supported an effort to charge oil companies an escalating fee for not using these federal lands, telling them they need to "use it or lose it."
But we cannot simply drill our way to lower gas prices. The effort to increase domestic oil production should be matched by a national investment in the development of alternative energy through innovation. We also need to focus on conservation, which is why Congressman Murphy worked to increase car efficiency for the first time in a generation, up to 35 miles per gallon.