Gas prices are too high in Indiana. That's why I'm working on a number of initiatives designed to provide relief for Hoosier families struggling with high gas prices.
* We need to adopt an all-in approach to solving our nation's energy crisis. While this won't drop prices in the near term, we must find a way to stop sending billions of American dollars overseas each year. Lasting relief at the pump will only come when we invest in energy production here at home. From wind to nuclear, oil drilling to solar, natural gas to hydrogen, we need to responsibly pursue every resource in order to be energy independent. This is not only good for long-term prices at the pump--it is essential for our national security.
* We need to investigate speculators who purchase and sell oil and gas. I support the U.S. Attorney General's recent announcement of a new Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group that will monitor oil and gas markets for potential violations of criminal or civil laws. We need to ensure that Wall Street isn't playing games with the oil markets, leading to serious financial harm to working families simply trying to afford the drive to the grocery store or baseball practice.
* We need to end tax subsidies for big oil companies. Since coming to Congress, I have consistently supported eliminating tax subsidies for big oil companies. Exxon, BP, and Shell have all reported millions in profits this quarter--so why should they receive taxpayer dollars? The revenue we would save from ending these tax subsidies could go toward alternative energy production or, in a time of high gas prices like today, we could give taxpayers a one-time tax credit.
I've authored legislation that has been signed into law to help make us less dependent on foreign oil:
* The PUMP Act, H.R. 2505: I introduced this legislation in May of 2007 to make homegrown E-85 fuel more available to American drivers. The bill prohibited big oil companies from preventing franchisees from selling biofuels like E-85 which uses more Hoosier corn instead of oil to make car fuel and increased the federal tax credits available to business which want to install biofuel pumps. Both provisions were separately signed into law in 2007 and 2008.
* The Biofuels Pipeline Act, H.R. 6805: I introduced this legislation in August of 2008 to promote the development of new biofuel distribution infrastructure. The bill updated an outdated IRS law to treat biofuels like ethanol equitably with other fuels so that publicly traded partnerships--experienced companies who are most likely to build alternative fuel pipelines--can build the unique pipelines necessary to transport biofuels. This legislation was signed into law in 2008.
Also, I have consistently supported efforts to lower gas prices and make America more energy independent:
* Last year, I cosponsored H.R. 2227, The American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act. This bipartisan legislation, which I plan to support again in the 112th Congress, would responsibly expand domestic production of oil and gas, promote development of clean coal technologies, and boost investments in clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
* In 2008, I voted for H.R. 6604, The Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act, legislation that would strengthen regulatory oversight of oil hedging and swaps and limit the influence of speculators who seek to drive up the price of oil for their own personal financial gain.
* In 2007, I cosponsored H.R. 1252, The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, which would make gasoline price gouging a federal crime during fuel emergencies. This legislation passed the House of Representatives with my support but the Senate failed to act on it.
We have a lot of work to do, but I am committed to ensuring that our nation has more stable energy prices that are affordable for working- and middle-class families.