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McCaskill Supports Effort To Protect Consumers At The Gas Pump

Location: St. Louis, MO

McCaskill Supports Effort To Protect Consumers At The Gas Pump

April 24, 2006

As Gas Prices Jump an Average of 70 Cents since January, Jim Talent Voted On the Side of Big Oil Instead of Consumers in Energy Bill

St. Louis -- As gas prices return to record high levels in Missouri, big oil executives continue to reap the big rewards from last year's Republican energy bill. U.S. Senate Candidate Claire McCaskill affirmed her commitment to stop gas price gouging by the big oil companies and stand up for better consumer protection.

Reports on 2005 energy profits indicate that while local gas stations made a meager 5% profit, refineries made an average 255% profit over a twelve month period. Recent announcements that top oil company executives are reaping these benefits, like that of retiring CEO of Exxon Mobil, Lee Raymond who will be rewarded with a $400 million retirement package, lead to questions about the influence big oil companies have in the legislative process. Talent has received $12,950 from Exxon Mobile alone. McCaskill urges Congress to hold hearings to look into such gross correlations.

"Top oil executives are raking in huge perks and making money hand over fist thanks to their friends in Washington, like Senator Talent. Washington Republicans gladly voted for an energy bill that allows unfair business practices and tax breaks to bring in record profits at the expense of local consumers," McCaskill said.

McCaskill called on Senator Jim Talent to become a co-sponsor of the Energy Consumer Protection Act (S 1735) that allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) new authority to investigate and prosecute those who engage in this "predatory pricing", from oil companies on down to local gas stations, with an emphasis on those who profit most. McCaskill also supports price transparency so that consumers and investigatory groups can clearly see who is making the largest profits along the chain from the refineries to the distributors.

"Skyrocketing gas prices and shortfalls in consumer protections are nothing new to Americans," McCaskill said. "But instead of passing laws that work to protect consumers from outrageous gas price gouging from the big refineries, Jim Talent and the Republican leadership voted for $14 billion tax breaks and subsidies to energy companies and a free pass for refineries to charge at will with no means of monitoring the affects on the economy."

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