Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Senate Republicans Vote to Continue High Gasoline Prices

Unbelievable in an election year, and on a day when regular gasoline is now over $4 a gallon nationwide, Republicans in the Senate voted today to shelve indefinitely S. 3044, the Consumer First Energy Bill, a bill that would have collected up to $12 billion from 5 major oil companies that have recorded record profits in the face of high petroleum and gasoline prices.

The bill would have redirected these profits, profits, I might add, that have not been passed on to oil company stockholders, to development of alternative energy projects. Republicans claimed that this would only serve to drive up the price of oil further.

A nice thought, but when the cause of the current high price of crude can be laid at the door of oil speculators and others, not all that accurate:

“‘The American people are furious about what's going on and they understand that nothing is happening here that justifies the price,' said Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat.”

“Dorgan and other lawmakers have blamed investment banks, speculators, and hedge funds for buying commodities and driving up the prices. More scrutiny of their trades and stiffer margin limits could bring the price of oil down by 30 percent, Dorgan said at a press conference today.”

“Democrats hope to raise margin requirements on oil futures traders and extend federal scrutiny to all trades made in the U.S., including on foreign exchanges. They want to reclassify certain traders, such as investment banks, so that their trades can be more closely monitored.”
Yes, all of that was also part of the bill, windfall profits was the headline, but the bill would have also been directed at the number one cause of these high prices: oil speculators who are all getting as rich as they possibly can while the getting is still good.

All of this can end, but clearly it won’t happen this year. We are going to need a supermajority in the Senate, 60 votes, to get this done.

Texas, by the way, cast it’s two senatorial votes against this bill, against American consumers, and for oil speculators. One of these two is John Cornyn who is up for re-election this year. His opponent, Democratic nominee Rick Noriega, is currently with his Texas National Guard unit training for its next deployment to Iraq. Rick can use some help. If you hate it that you are lining the pockets of oil speculators and nothing is being done about it, why not send something to Rick’s campaign fund? He has an uphill battle against John Cornyn, whose PAC- and lobbyist-filled campaign war chest is getting ready for an all out assault on our soldier-statesman nominee. Go here and drop a few dead presidents in Rick Noriega’s boots (and no, not his combat boots, he had to take them with).


Chronicritic said...

That's not true at all. Republicans did not vote for higher fuel prices. Their vote did nothing to change the price of gas one way or the other. Who do you think would be paying that new tax? The same people who are paying the OLD taxes... US!!! If anyone has caused the price of fuel to go up, it's the people who have taxed oil, restricted domestic drilling and not allowed any new refineries to be built. Wanna guess who THEY are?

Hal said...

Well, I guess THEY might be the people who have been in charge of this country since 2001. I know, Democrats have had both houses for a year and a half now, but without supermajorities, nothing has gotten done except for what few things that have gotten bipartisan support.

Yes, they did vote for higher fuel prices. This isn't going to stop unless and until we can get the oil speculators off of their money train.

Anonymous said...

Y'all did not read the article closely. The democrats wrote the so-called energy bill (really a tax bill in disguise - how clever)intentionally and specifically with the goal that it would be rejected by the republicans. So that when the bill did not pass, everybody could jump up and down saying the republicans defeated the great energy bill.
The perpetraitors of the bogus bill have done exactly what every progressive voter (remember we the people?)and candidate has said is the political behavior that is not wanted today or tomorrow in our government. They (Congress) are not progressive, as in progressing - going forward. They are part of the problem, and not part of the solution.
There you have it. Is Congress going to continue to play this petty game? Same game they've played for the past 20 years - on both sides of the aisle. Stonewall, insults, no compromise, greedy objectives, selfish pay increases, while we (the people) sit in traffic jams in our SUVs listening to pitiful pundits sell their opinions. Get real people, and get wise. We need to clean house in Congress - don't you see how their scam worked beautifully? Instead of calling them to accountability, here we are, pointing fingers at each other and playing the blame game. Wake up!! Rise and shine!! New boss same as the old boss. Get out and vote 'em out, I say.

Hal said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

minihaha5 said...

Dream world. Taxing the oil companies will not bring down prices or open up new forms of energy. Also, the speculators serve a valuable purpose in the free market.