Senate Democrats

Democrats Push For Energy Independence

Across the States, Democrats Working to Provide Needed Relief to Working Americans

WASHINGTON, DC – With energy prices skyrocketing and the financial burden continuing to increase on America’s families, Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, and Senator Ron Wyden today demanded real relief at the pump and an end to price gouging.

“Democrats know that America can do better than sitting on our hands while families across the country are hit by record high energy prices,” said Senator Reid. “It is time for Washington to listen to the American people and take action to turn record oil company profits into relief for American families. This summer’s record high gas prices will turn into record high heating prices for too many Americans. The time to act is now.”

Across the states and in local communities, Democrats are fighting to help consumers with high energy costs and to put America on the path towards energy independence. Governor Doyle joined the Senators weeks after he sent a letter with eight other governors calling for action by the federal government to help American families with high energy prices.

“The unprecedented, unexplained rise in gas prices and home heating will cost an average family in Wisconsin about $2,000 a year,” Governor Jim Doyle said. “That’s going to take a real toll not only on family budgets, but our whole economy. We need the federal government to take some action, find out who is reaping these profits, and find a way to refund it to the American people.”

Democrats know America can do better and that is why they continue to fight to provide relief to working families. Democrats want to ban price gouging and provide additional authority to the president to bring lawbreakers to justice. Democrats have also proposed a temporary windfall profits tax on big oil’s record-breaking profits to provide a rebate to working families and have also offered additional assistance to working families to meet this winter’s projected record high heating prices. Republicans in Congress have rejected all of these ideas.

“Gasoline prices and home heating costs are going to combine for an even bigger energy squeeze in the coming weeks, and the finances of working families in all our 50 states are just going to get crushed if nothing’s done,” said Senator Wyden. “From the Energy Department to the FTC, it’s long past time for the Federal government to get off the sidelines and take the pro-consumer actions we’ve advocating today.”

Democrats are also determined to put America firmly on the path towards energy independence by 2020. Democrats want to establish a national goal to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and providing the federal government with the tools to meet that goal. Democrats are also pushing for the creation of a strategic gasoline and jet fuel reserve so that future disruptions in supplies will not so greatly burden working families.