Martinez: Balanced Energy Plan Will Bring Gas Price Relief

Senator Martinez and others introduce Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008

U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) today joined with more than 40 senators to introduce real solutions for our nation’s energy crisis. The Gas Prices Reduction Act of 2008 is a comprehensive effort focusing on short and long-term solutions to oil supply constraints, including expanding domestic exploration and resource development, and expansion of advanced hybrid vehicle technologies.

“The price of gasoline is one of the most critical issues facing Floridians right now. It’s adversely affecting families and businesses alike. We need a comprehensive solution to address this crisis,” Senator Martinez said. “This bill will do a great deal to put our nation on a path to cleaner, renewable energy alternatives while also addressing current needs. Americans want and deserve real solutions to lower fuel costs – our bill is a step in that direction.”

Senator Martinez is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has consistently called for domestic resource development and increased conservation efforts.

“While this allows the development of offshore oil and natural gas exploration by states wishing to do so, this measure protects Florida’s moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Martinez, architect of the 2006 measure providing for no exploration within 125 miles of Florida’s Gulf Coast. “I asked that this bill include protections for Florida’s wishes and those protections are included in this bill.”

Highlights of The Gas Prices Reduction Act of 2008:

Promotes Deep Sea Exploration – OCS
14 Billion Barrels On Atlantic and Pacific OCS – More Than All US Imports From Persian Gulf Countries Over The Last 15 Years

• Provides State Option Nationwide (except Gulf of Mexico)
• Includes governor petitions to allow exploration, with concurrence of state legislature
• Ensures that exploration must be at least 50 miles from coast
• Breakdown of revenues: 50% of revenues to Federal Treasury, 37.5% to States, 12.5% to Land & Water Conservation Fund

Promotes Western State Oil Shale Exploration
More Than 3 Times The Oil Reserves Of Saudi Arabia

• 800 billion - 2 trillion potentially recoverable barrels in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming
• Proposal would repeal the moratorium and allow exploration to move forward

Promotes Plug-in Electric Cars and Trucks
• Increase R&D for advanced batteries
• Provides Direct Loans for advanced battery manufacturing facilities

Strengthens U.S. Futures Markets
• Authorizes increased funding/staff for 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
• Requires the CFTC to gather information on index traders and swap dealers