Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after Republicans blocked a bill to stop excessive speculation by Wall Street traders, rejecting another Democratic effort to address the energy crisis:
“Republicans once again have run away from an opportunity to provide a short-term solution to our energy crisis. While Democrats have worked to stop greedy speculators who artificially inflate oil prices, Republicans have chosen to protect them.
“There is widespread agreement that excessive speculation is contributing to high energy prices, and that curbing it would help lower gas prices right away. But Bush-McCain Republicans would rather talk endlessly about the problem than act to solve it. It is unclear what ideas Republicans actually have to solve this energy crisis; even when given the opportunity to vote on amendments to increase domestic production, they say no.
“I still hold out hope that we might be able to move some bills in the coming weeks that can actually help consumers in the short term – including releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, LIHEAP and other measures. At the same time, we will continue working toward reducing demand and developing clean and affordable alternatives in the long term to wean us off our addiction to oil.”