Wicker: The American People are Waiting for Congress to Act on Gas Prices

July 28, 2008

WASHINGTON – With Congress scheduled to adjourn next week for the month of August, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today continued his call for immediate action on comprehensive energy legislation.  Wicker previously wrote Senate leaders to request that the Senate not adjourn in August until action is taken to address record-high gas prices.  

“American families continue to struggle with the high cost of gasoline, and they are looking to Congress to do something about it,” Sen. Wicker said.  “This is the number one issue before our country, and it should be treated that way by Congress.  The majority party’s decision in the Senate to not allow for a full debate on comprehensive solutions to this energy crisis has shortchanged the American public.  We have an opportunity this week to have the serious, wide-ranging energy debate the people of our country are pleading for.  Families across America are waiting for Congress to act, and we should do so this week.” 

Sen. Wicker has been a strong advocate of a comprehensive plan to combat high gas prices that includes increased domestic exploration and energy conservation, increased use of renewable and alternative fuels, and stepped-up oversight of oil speculators. 

On July 16, Wicker sent a letter to Senate leaders asking that senators not be allowed to leave Washington to begin the annual August work period in their states without first passing bipartisan, comprehensive legislation that addresses American’s energy crunch and record-high gas prices. 

Wicker is a cosponsor of the Gas Price Reduction Act (S. 3202), legislation that allows for deep sea exploration of the estimated 14 billion barrels of oil off our Atlantic and Pacific coasts.  The bill would also lift the moratorium on oil shale development in the Rocky Mountain West, where there is an estimated two trillion barrels of recoverable oil in only three states.  Additionally, the measure would increase investment in electric car technology to help lessen our country’s reliance on fossil fuels as well as strengthen the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) ability to prevent speculators from artificially driving up the price of gas.

Wicker has also pushed for action on the American Energy Production Act (S. 2958), legislation that would produce up to 24 billion barrels of oil – enough to supply America without foreign imports for five years.  The measure would utilize America’s deep sea energy resources while also allowing for exploration in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.  The legislation would also make billions more barrels of American-made fuel available through the development of coal-to-liquid technology and oil shale.