Senate Democrats

Stabenow: Democrats’ Energy Policy Puts Consumers First, Addresses Root Causes Of High Gas Prices

Washington, DC—Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan delivers this week’s Democratic Radio Address.  America needs a change from the seven years of failed Bush Republican policies that have pushed oil and gas prices to record highs, Stabenow says.  Democrats unveiled an energy package this week that repeals billions of dollars in tax breaks for Big Oil, forces them to invest in renewable energy or pay a price for refusing to do so, protects consumers from OPEC and others who manipulate the market, and increases our oil supply to lower prices. 

The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below:

“Good morning, I’m U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.  When George Bush took office back in 2001, a gallon of gasoline cost about $1.50.  Today, if you are filling your tank in my home State of Michigan, you are paying more than $3.70 for regular and $4 a gallon for premium.

“In every corner of our country, we are paying record prices.  When gas prices first began to rise, it was an annoyance.  Then it became a burden.  Now it is a crisis for every American family – a crisis that doesn’t just affect us at the pump, but also raises the prices of groceries, increases our home-heating bills, and squeezes small businesses trying to keep their heads above water.

“Enough is enough.  The American people deserve real solutions.  Democrats and Republicans have both offered plans, but our approaches could not be more different.

“Republicans want more drilling, more consumption, and more tax giveaways for the big oil companies.  Democrats say that those are exactly the policies that got us into this mess to begin with.  This week, Democrats offered a new plan – a clean break from the failed Bush policies that were literally written by the big oil companies.

“First, the Democratic plan ends the billions of dollars in tax breaks for big oil companies whose executives have been hauling record profits while we pay record prices.

“Second, our plan forces the oil companies to do their part by investing some of their profits in clean and affordable alternative energy.

“Third, we protect the American people from price gougers and greedy oil traders who manipulate the market.

“Fourth, we temporarily stop filling the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve – which is already 97 percent full – to increase supply here at home and lower prices.

“And fifth, our Democratic plans stands up to OPEC and countries who are working together to keep oil prices sky-high.

“George Bush, Dick Cheney and their Republican friends have had more than seven years to control our national energy policy.  Time after time they have sided with big special interests and left the rest of us to pay the bill.  Again, enough is enough.

“This fight won’t be easy.  The President and his oil buddies have gotten used to the spoils of plunder, and they won’t give up without a fight.  Democrats will fight just as hard – but we need your help.  Call President Bush.  Call your members of Congress.  Tell them that you’re fed up with record gas prices, and you want a plan that puts people first.  A plan that puts people first is long overdue.

“That’s the Democratic plan.  That’s the plan our country needs.  And with your help, we can get real results for you and your family.  I’m Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan.  Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend.”