Senate Democrats

Reid Unveils Proposals to Lower Gas Prices

Relief at the pump part of Energy Independent 2020 campaign

Las Vegas, NV - Putting forth a real plan to lower skyrocketing gas prices and see America become energy independent by 2020, U.S. Senator Harry Reid today focused on four proposals to help give Nevadans relief at the pump.

Reid highlighted both near term and future proposals to lower gas prices now and protect consumers down the road.

“With gas hovering around three dollars a gallon, Nevada families are feeling the pinch of skyrocketing prices,” Senator Reid said. “As part of a larger strategy to make America Energy Independent by 2020, I have been working with my Senate colleagues on a plan to reduce gas prices in the near and longer-term future.”

Reid proposed better regulation to prevent market manipulation and price gouging, imposing criminal penalties for offenders, passing legislation to encourage investments in new oil refining capacity, offering a tax rebate to American gas consumers, and creating a strategic gasoline and jet fuel reserve. Sen. Reid also called on President Bush to meet with oil company CEOs and urge them to lower prices.

“While Nevadans struggle to fill their gas tanks, oil companies are making more money than ever,” said Reid. “In fact, this year the major oil companies are expected to make $100 billion in profits. During times of national emergencies, oil companies are filling their pockets with historic profits.

“These are just a few proposals to help address the skyrocketing cost of gas. While the White House or Congress has yet to take up any of these proposals, I believe we can do better for America,” Sen. Reid added. “I will keep working to pass this legislation and press the White House for real solutions.”

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Specific proposals include:

Working to Lower Gas Prices

Protecting consumers today and in the future:

Banning gasoline price gouging and improving market transparency
Energy Emergency Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (S. 1735)

  • would establish a federal ban on price gouging for oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products during times of national energy emergencies
  • provide civil and criminal penalties for price gouging, ban market manipulation, and require greater transparency in oil and gasoline markets.

Providing a tax rebate to American gas consumers.
Windfall Profits Rebate Act of 2005 (S. 1631)

  • would impose a temporary windfall profit tax on large oil companies and return the tax collected back to American consumers in the form of a rebate
  • profits used toward investments in new refining capacity and alternative energy infrastructure would be exempted from the tax

Creating a strategic gasoline and jet fuel reserve
Strategic Gasoline and Fuel Reserve Act of 2005 (S. 1794)

  • would establish a 47.5 million barrel reserve of gasoline and jet fuel
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