Senate Democrats

Reid: Senate Should Be Wary Of Taking Advice From The President With Worst Energy Record In Generations

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to President Bush’s remarks on energy policy this morning:

“For eight years President Bush has sat on his hands, doing nothing to craft a responsible energy policy while he lined his campaign coffers and his party’s with Big Oil money.  He has not only refused to stand up to oil companies as they made record profits but failed to increase production – the President and Congressional Republicans actually let these executives write our energy policy so they could make even more money on the backs of hard-working Americans.

“If the President truly cares about Americans paying record-high energy prices to fill their tanks and heat their homes and wants to make them more secure, he can release oil from the Strategy Petroleum Reserve, accelerate production in the 68 million acres already open for drilling, open up new leases in areas that are not environmentally protected, crack down on greedy oil traders who artificially inflate energy prices and support efforts in Congress to extend renewable energy tax credits that spur investment in clean energy sources.  Unfortunately, he has shown no interest in doing anything but continuing more of the same failed policies that have produced the highest oil and gas prices ever.”

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President Bush’s failed energy policy has succeeded in only one thing: enhancing oil company profits. This week, the Big Oil companies are releasing yet another round of record quarterly profits at the expense of American families. In fact, under President Bush, American drivers have faced larger nominal and real price increases than under any President since the 1950s. It’s time for a new energy policy that reduces our dependence on oil, invests in renewable energy and energy efficiency and creates jobs right here in America.

PRESIDENT BUSH HAS THE WORST RECORD ON GAS PRICES OF ANY PRESIDENT SINCE 1950s

Under President Eisenhower Gas Prices Increased by 2 Cents per Gallon. When President Eisenhower took office in 1953, the yearly average price of regular leaded gasoline was 29 cents per gallon. When he left office in 1961, the yearly average price of regular leaded gas had climbed by just 2 cents to 31 cents per gallon. [EIA Yearly Historical Data]

Under President Kennedy Gas Prices Decreased by 1 Cents per Gallon. When President Kennedy took office in 1961, the yearly average price of regular leaded gasoline was 31 cents per gallon. When he was killed in 1963, the average price of regular leaded gas had dropped to 30 cents per gallon. [EIA Yearly Historical Data]

Under President Johnson Gas Prices Increased by 5 Cents per Gallon. When President Johnson took office in 1963, the yearly average price of regular leaded gasoline was 30 cents per gallon. When he left office in 1969, the average price of regular leaded gas had climbed by just 5 cents to 35 cents per gallon. [EIA Yearly Historical Data]

Under President Nixon Gas Prices Increased by 18 Cents per Gallon. When President Nixon took office in 1969, the yearly average price of regular leaded gasoline was 35 cents per gallon. When he left office in 1974, the yearly average price of regular leaded gas had climbed by 18 cents to 53 cents per gallon. [EIA Yearly Historical Data]

Under President Ford Gas Prices Increased by 9 Cents per Gallon. When President Ford took office in 1974, the yearly average price of regular leaded gasoline was 53 cents per gallon. When he left office in 1977, the yearly average price of regular leaded gas had climbed by 9 cents to 62 cents per gallon. [EIA Yearly Historical Data]

Under President Carter Gas Prices Increased by 72 Cents per Gallon.   When President Carter took office in 1977, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline was 66 cents per gallon. In 1981, when he left office the yearly average price had increased by 72 cents to $1.38 per gallon. [EIA Historical Data]

Under President Reagan Gas Prices Decreased 36 Cents. In 1981, when Ronald Reagan became President, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.38 per gallon. At the end of Reagan’s presidency, in 1989, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gas was $1.02 per gallon.  [EIA Historical Data]

Under President George H.W. Bush Gas Prices Increased by 8 Cents.  When George Bush took office in 1989, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.02. Four years later in 1993, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline had increased by 8 cents to $1.11 per gallon. [EIA Historical Data]

Under President Clinton Gas Prices Increased by 35 Cents. Bill Clinton became the President in 1993, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.11 per gallon. In 2001, when President Clinton left the White House, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.46 a gallon. [EIA Historical Data]

Under President Bush Gas Prices Have Skyrocketed. When President Bush took office in 2001, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.46 cents per gallon. As of 2007, the yearly average price of regular unleaded gas had nearly doubled to $2.80. Thus far in 2008, gas prices have surged even higher averaging above $3 per gallon and even surpassing $4 per gallon. [EIA Yearly Historical Data; EIA Weekly Historical Data]

  • Real Gas Prices Have Risen More Under Bush Than Under Any Other President As Well. Most Presidents since the 1950’s have presided over a decline or modest increase in the real price of gasoline. But under President Bush, real gas prices have increased 91 cents, even more than the 80 cents that prices rose under President Carter during the 1970’s oil crisis. [EIA Yearly Historical Data]
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