Corker Announces Bill to Ease Prices at the Pump

Corker Says Increasing Supplies While Decreasing Demand Should Have Immediate Impact on Easing Prices at the Pump

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today joined Senate colleagues in announcing the Gas Price Reduction Act. Corker is a member of the Senate Republican Energy Working Group which has been working for several weeks on this comprehensive legislation to increase energy supplies, while decreasing demand.

“Freeing up domestic oil production in the U.S., accompanied with a strong sense of urgency in developing new technologies, will send a powerful signal to the markets that we are working to increase supplies while decreasing demand and should have an immediate impact on easing prices at the pump for Tennesseans.

“We don’t have the luxury of relying on a silver bullet to meet our energy needs, so our bill encourages several approaches that include alternative vehicle technologies and domestic resources.

“I am sincerely anxious for the day, hopefully in our very near future, when most Americans will be driving affordable vehicles powered by electricity and other non-petroleum-based technologies, but while we’re transitioning to this promising future does it not make sense to use our own oil reserves rather than shipping billions of dollars overseas to countries that would do us harm? Presently, this dependence is resulting in a massive transference of wealth and accumulation of trade deficits for our country, and unless we make changes we will be even more dependent on this volatile region. I support environmentally friendly offshore oil production because I believe it is a bridge to the future while we invest in alternative energy technology. The reality is we cannot make the transition to alternatives overnight.

“A great deal of attention has been given to the possible role of speculation in the oil markets. I believe it’s important to strengthen our U.S. futures markets to ensure the markets are not being manipulated, and for that reason, this bill provides the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with 100 additional employees to increase market surveillance and collect data to maximize transparency and ensure the integrity of the markets. Since the CFTC was created in 1974, the volume on futures exchanges has grown 8,000 percent while CFTC staff has decreased 12 percent. Adding 100 employees to the CFTC will be akin to adding 100 cops on the beat.”

The bill includes provisions to:

Promote Deep Sea Exploration for American Oil and Natural Gas – Allows states to explore for deep sea oil and natural gas 50 miles or more from the coast, which could provide America with billions of barrels of oil and boost state budgets by billions of dollars for conservation.

Tap America’s Vast Western Oil Shale Resources – Repeals a federal moratorium on the Department of Interior’s development of oil shale regulations so Americans can have the option of getting their oil from states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah rather than from Middle Eastern countries seeking to do us harm. American oil shale resources could provide our country with over 800 billion to 2 trillion barrels of oil, more than three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Use Less Gasoline and Diesel with Plug-In Electric Cars and Trucks – Increases research and development for advanced batteries to maximize electricity range and use less gas, provides direct loans for advanced battery manufacturing facilities, and encourages the federal government to increase its purchases of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Strengthen U.S. Futures Markets – Addresses speculation through increased transparency in energy futures markets, authorizes increased funding and staff for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), directs the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to study the international regulation of commodities markets, codifies CFTC action on position limits and transparency for foreign boards of trade, and requires the CFTC to gather information on index traders and swap dealers.