Senate Democrats

Democrats Work to Make America Energy Independent by 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – On the eve of a joint Senate Commerce and Energy Committees hearing with the heads of the top five oil companies, Senate Democrats joined together today to demand less talk from Republicans and more action on the skyrocketing costs of gas and home heating oil. As high gas, diesel and natural gas prices this summer and fall are matched by high home heating prices this winter, American families are looking to Congress for real solutions on relief from high prices and to make America energy independent by 2020.

“Together, we can do better than empty rhetoric and photo-ops for American families struggling with high energy costs,” said Democratic Leader Harry Reid. “The time to act on energy independence is now. Congress must take action on high energy prices before we leave town.”

Senator Maria Cantwell was joined today by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to call on Congress to take action on price gouging. The two leaders spoke about the need for a federal anti-gas price gouging bill to ensure consumers are protected and oil companies do not take advantage of disruptions in energy supplies like Hurricane Katrina. As Republicans prepared to bring the top five oil company CEOs to Congress to testify about gas prices, the leaders called on Congress to pass a bill before Congress adjourns.

“Oil companies need to tell us the truth. They need tell the American people how 75 percent profit increases in 90 days is justifiable to consumers at the pump and at home. We need anti price gouging legislation that allows the Justice Dept, our State Attorneys General and the FTC to stop price gouging during energy emergencies,” said Senator Cantwell.

Senate Democrats also called on Congress to take action to combat the projected record high costs for home heating this winter. Senators Byron Dorgan, Jack Reed, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton came together to draw attention to the Energy Information Agency’s Short-Term Energy Outlook released today to take action to provide relief to working families. The Democrats discussed their efforts to provide assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and called on Congress to help working families before adjourning this year.