WASHINGTON, DC – After the oil industry claimed this week that fewer environmental regulations, continuing $4 billion in annual U.S. taxpayer subsidies to private oil companies, and allowing drilling anywhere on federal land and along the coasts would “immediately” lower gasoline prices, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) took those industry claims to task, issuing the following statement:
“The oil industry is looking out for the oil industry. Their so-called plan would not help consumers save a penny at the pump today. At a time when oil and gas companies are making record breaking profits, they should not be guzzling down billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.
“The American people are being forced to cut back because of high gas prices and the big oil companies should have their wasteful tax subsidies cut off. That’s only fair and appropriate during tough times.
“Lowering gas prices requires a comprehensive approach. In the near term some of the steps we can take include: stopping the irresponsible saber rattling toward Iran and making it clear we are prepared to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if need be; preventing excessive speculation from manipulating the market and needlessly inflating energy prices; ending the $4 billion in American taxpayer giveaways for big oil companies and investing in improved energy efficiency standards and alternative energy. That is why I have fought for things like better fuel mileage for cars and smart investments in mass-transit. I also support safe, responsible domestic oil production.”
“The bottom line is we need a smart, balanced, and responsible national energy policy, and the oil industry’s so-called plan is none of those things.”