While big oil conglomerates are recording record profits, middle- and low-income families, consumers, and businesses struggle with staggering gas prices at the pump. The high cost of gas increases the price of everything from groceries to airline tickets as we send our money to hostile nations overseas and the pocket of oil industry executives.
My career has been based on bringing new solutions to old problems, and I will do that in Congress. Consumers have been held hostage by oil and gas companies for too long. Here is my plan to help get our economy going again by bringing down soaring gas prices and halting the price gouging. Congress has been far too timid. These are solutions we desperately need today if we are to make the investments in building a green future for America.
Jared Polis' plan:
· Strategic Petroleum Reserve - Jared Polis supports releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring market prices down immediately, and raising the possibility of additional future releases to drive speculators out of the market.
· Protect public lands from drilling - Further drilling, exploitation and despoliation of wilderness areas like the Roan Plateau and ANWR proposed by the oil industry is not the answer. I strongly opposes the Bureau of Land Management's current plan to expand gas-drilling leases in the Roan Plateau. Instead, we should strengthen environmental protection of our pristine public lands. The oil and gas industry is exploiting the gas price crisis to rush along leases on our federal lands and argue for additional exploitation. These are false solutions and only feed our reliance on fossil fuels.
· Tough anti-trust laws and enforcement - Congress must act forcefully to end market manipulation and illegal, anti-competitive practices in the oil industry. We need new antitrust legislation and enforcement to do it. There is too much concentration in the oil and gas industry today. I will push the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look closely at gas prices, and conduct thorough investigations for illegal market manipulation by the oil and gas giants, and swift, tough enforcement of penalties. More competitive markets will bring lower gas prices.
· Mergers - like that between Exxon and Mobil ten years ago - have created entities that are too big and too powerful, and have directly resulted in higher gas prices at the pump, as was confirmed by a 2004 Government Accountability Office report. These corporate giants produce the crude oil, own the refineries, and sell the gasoline at the pump. As the FTC itself admitted in 2001, when oil companies own the refineries, it makes it simple to manipulate market prices. We need old-fashioned trust busting. We need new a new generation of anti-trust legislation to deal with this new environment, and tough enforcement.
· End tax give-aways to big oil - I support the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act of 2008, HR 5351, legislation to strip $18 billion in oil company tax breaks that were enacted in 2004. We should repeal existing oil company tax breaks and put that money into solar, wind, alternative fuels and energy efficiency.
· Regulating energy exchanges - We need tough new regulation, oversight and enforcement of OTC as well as regulated energy exchange markets. Financial speculators are driving up the price of oil. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) must be strengthened and criminal sanctions should be enforced on speculators who violate the law.
· Get the special interest money out of politics - The price of gas and the neglect of clean energy policies in Congress is a direct result of too much money in politics. The oil industry pours millions of dollars into political campaigns every year. Too many members of Congress fear them. Not only am I not afraid to stand up to them, it's what gets me excited every day about working for you. That is also why we need, and I will fight for, public financing of campaigns and "Clean Money Clean Elections' legislation in Congress. I am the only candidate for the 2nd Congressional District not accepting money from Political Action Committees (PACs) and who supports public financing of campaigns.
For too long, our country's energy policy has been written by and for the oil and gas industry. That must end. I will work with allies in and out Congress, like Public Citizen, and with citizens across our nation to accomplish these urgent goals.
Join our campaign. The August 12th election is approaching, and I need your help so that I can move forward with the Responsible Plan to end the war in Iraq, doing something about rising gas prices, protecting our environment, and establishing universal healthcare. You can help by signing up to volunteer, hosting a houseparty, or making a donation so that we can continue our efforts.
Please mark August 12th on your calendar. My ability to work on your behalf relies on your commitment to send me to Washington DC on your behalf.
Together, we can and we will bring down gas prices.