Cantwell Calls on Trump to Take Action to Lower Gas Prices
Cantwell to Trump: pressure OPEC to increase world oil supplies, help lower the price at the pump
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to demand President Trump take action on rising gas prices in advance of the summer driving season.
“This weekend is the start of the driving season, and the average American household will pay $167 more in fuel costs this summer,” said Senator Cantwell during the event. “That is sticker shock to the American family – what they are seeing could get worse, and that is why we are calling on President Trump to act.”
During the event, Senator Cantwell announced a new letter to Trump urging him to “use all of your authority to take timely action to pressure the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and cooperating countries to increase world oil supplies in order to lower prices at the pump during the upcoming summer driving season.” The letter, which was also signed by Senators Schumer, Menendez, and Markey, outlines seven specific actions the president could take today to “make sure OPEC does not continue to suppress world crude oil supplies” and to “protect domestic policies that help consumers.”
“The American people want to know what the president plans to do about this,” said Cantwell during the announcement of the letter.
According to AAA, average gasoline prices in Washington state are currently the third-highest in the country, at $3.40 per gallon. In some parts of the state, gas prices are close to $4 per gallon. Nationwide, the average price of gas is up more than 50 cents per gallon from Memorial Day last year and has jumped 12 cents per gallon in the past 14 days, hitting a four-year high.
“The impact of rising fuel prices on our economy and on family budgets is significant and widespread,” write the senators in the letter. “According to a recent analysis by Goldman Sachs, the run up in oil prices will roughly cancel out positive effects from tax cuts this year, with the greatest impact on households that can least afford it.”
Read the full letter here.
Watch video of the press conference HERE.
A full transcript is below:
Thank you Leader Schumer. It’s great to be here with my colleagues Senator Markey and Senator Menendez, who will be joining us.
This weekend is the start of the summer driving season, and the average American household will pay $167 more in fuel costs this [summer]. 167 more dollars in fuel costs this [summer].
According to the AAA, average gas prices in my state are currently the third-highest in the country at $3.40, and in some parts are closer to four dollars.
What we know is that gas prices have gone up 25 percent since the tax law went into effect. So, as families are facing three times higher the cost, these corporations have gotten some of the largest tax breaks in our history. Four of the largest U.S. companies got $15 billion in a corporate tax cut. Seven of the biggest oil companies got 13 billion in new stock buybacks, and yet American consumers are facing three to maybe four dollars of gas price in the very near future. That sticker shock to the American family – what they’re seeing could get worse.
And that is why we are calling on President Trump to act.
We do not want to see the price of oil get more expensive as we go into the summer driving season. We know that it is 60 cents higher per gallon than last year, and we know that the effect of this on the consumer, on the driving public, but also on our businesses that depend on transport.
So many of the sectors moving product around the Northwest are about transportation systems, and making those products more expensive challenges our economy.
So, we know that world crude oil prices have increased 75 percent in the last year, and that’s because an agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, like Russia, to decrease their oil production.
The American people want to know what the president plans to do about this.
Today, my colleagues and I are signing a letter calling on the president to pressure OPEC to increase world oil supplies, help lower the price at the pump, and save the consumer during their most expensive time – the summer driving season, where they’d rather be taking vacations and preserving their businesses and economic opportunities.
I guarantee you, what they got in the tax break just got washed away in higher fuel prices.
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