Bond: Democrats Refuse Help For Families Struggling With Pain At The Pump

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), today expressed regret that his Democratic colleagues in the Senate voted to deny new gasoline supplies to families and workers suffering pain at the pump and desperate for high price relief.  


            “Today’s vote was a vote against helping the families in Missouri and across the nation struggling with pain at the pump,” said Bond. 


            Today, the Democrat-led Senate, by a vote of 42 to 56 rejected the American Energy Production Act, to provide new, environmentally-safe, domestic supplies of oil and gas for the American people.  Prices were expected to fall immediately with the signal that previously withheld sources of gasoline and diesel were now available for use.


            The American Energy Production Act, of which Senator Bond is an original cosponsor, was a comprehensive energy plan that called for:


            •   Suspending additional oil deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve;

            •   Opening up, in an environmentally responsible manner, U.S. oil and gas reserves in Alaska, off U.S. shores, and in oil shale deposits in the Rocky Mountains;

            •   Increasing refinery capacity by streamlining the oil refinery construction permitting process, without relaxing any environmental requirements, by allowing all required permits to be considered concurrently in one package;

            •   Incentivizing additional advanced sources of energy and the U.S. domestic manufacturing supply base needed to produce fuel from coal, cheaper hybrid car batteries, and new blends of biofuels that do not affect the food or feed supply.


            Bond did praise his Democratic colleagues in the Senate for adopting one key element of the Republicans’ comprehensive energy plan.  Today, the Senate approved a stand-alone provision that would temporarily halt deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).  Experts predict that this provision could drop gas prices by up to a quarter a gallon. 


            Halting oil deposits to the SPR is the type of common-sense and immediate action Congress must take, but is not enough to provide relief to struggling families now and in the future, stressed Bond.  Plans that focus only on decreasing demand, such as last year’s new CAFÉ gas mileage requirements, will take years to make a difference and alone are insufficient to reverse today’s record high gas prices.  Congress must pass a comprehensive plan to reduce gas prices that includes provisions to encourage conservation, decrease demand, and increase supplies of gas and diesel.


            “I am unwilling to allow families to suffer years more of higher gas prices while we wait for demand strategies to work.  The pain at the pump we are suffering today requires that Democrats and Republicans work together to supply America the real relief it needs.”