WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today announced that they are co-sponsoring legislation that addresses rising gas prices as well as provides a balanced approach to America’s long-term energy needs.
The Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008 is a result of efforts by Senate Republicans to intensify the legislative debate and provide a vehicle for bipartisan action addressing high gas prices. The legislation, which was introduced today by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, already has 42 co-sponsors.
“There are no quick fixes in dealing with this issue, but there are things we can and must do,” Isakson said. “With skyrocketing gas prices, it is absolutely critical for members of Congress to act now and act boldly to expand and encourage the development of all our resources.”
“The rising cost of energy is the number one issue I am hearing about from Georgians, and the effect these costs are having on family budgets is very real and very urgent. This is a complex issue, but we cannot shy away from action,” said Chambliss, who also during the news conference addressed the issue of oil speculation, since he helped craft that title of the bill. “This legislation will strengthen our energy futures markets by ensuring integrity. There are a wide degree of opinions on whether or not and how much speculation in the energy market is influencing the price of oil. This legislation will help us get the data we need to make informed, rationale decisions in this area. It also puts more cops on the beat policing these markets by providing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with the resources it needs to hire more employees.”
Specifically, the legislation would allow states the option to explore oil and gas resources in the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf at least 50 miles from the coast. It also would repeal the moratorium on Western state oil shale exploration to allow exploration to move forward. The bill would address plug-in electric cars and trucks by increasing research and development for advanced batteries and offer a Sense of Senate that the federal government should increase its purchases of these vehicles. Finally, the legislation would strengthen U.S. futures markets through increased transparency.