| Home | About Us | Login/Register | Email News Tips |

A liberal dose of news, national and local politics, commentary, opinions and common sense conversation…

Feeling a Pinch at the Pump? Democrats Call for Gas Price-Gouging to be Federal Crime

by Pamela Leavey

Are the gas prices piching your pocketbooks and your nerves? A new AP-Ipsos poll today shows that “high pump prices are pinching the pocketbooks of seven in 10 Americans, a financial hardship that more middle- and higher-income drivers say they are beginning to feel.”

With gasoline prices topping $3 a gallon for regular unleaded in many areas, people say they are driving less, cutting short vacations and curtailing their use of heating and air conditioning.

“Now, I’m just going to work and coming home — not doing anything else,” said Kathleen Roberts, who makes a daily, 100-mile round trip from York, Pa., to her teaching job in Baltimore.

The number of people who expect rising gas prices to cause financial problems in the months ahead has jumped from 51 percent a year ago to 70 percent now, according to AP polling. This increase has been dramatic among people who earn more than $50,000. These concerns are reflected in consumer confidence polling this past week by Ipsos, an international polling firm. Confidence dropped sharply and was the lowest since October, when the country was recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Maria Cantwell said today in the Democratic Radio Address, that “with gas prices above $3 a gallon in many places, Congress should pass legislation by Memorial Day to make price-gouging a federal crime.”

Cantwell also called for an increase in investments into alternative fuel development to break “America’s over-reliance on oil, particularly from other countries.”

It’s time that we simply stop talking about energy independence and start running toward a future that will make America more secure and more economically competitive,” she said.

Cantwell, who is seeking her second term this fall, said gas prices have shot up more than 70 cents in one year, leaving consumers with few options.

“The American economy and American families are hurting,” she said.

Cantwell cited reports of school days being canceled because local school districts can’t afford the cost of diesel fuel for buses, and airline jobs and pensions being lost “because airlines can’t afford the skyrocketing cost of jet fuel.”

While about half of the oil consumed in the United States comes from foreign countries, Cantwell said Democrats believe America can be “energy independent” by 2020.

“It begins with conservation and efficiency,” she said. “We can ask Americans to sacrifice. We can ask Americans to conserve. We can ask Americans to innovate and invest in new technologies. We just can’t ask them to accept the status quo.”

Cantwell said it was time to end huge tax breaks for big oil companies. She said they should be replaced with new incentives for cars that are made of lightweight, efficient materials and can run on either ethanol or gasoline.

2 Responses to “Feeling a Pinch at the Pump? Democrats Call for Gas Price-Gouging to be Federal Crime”

  1. Saying goughing is easy. Prooving it is another matter. Went through this in Az last year with agressive Dem governor (Napalatino) and state attorney generneral (Goddard) . Nothing came out of it except the Goddard said it is extrremely difficult to proove.

    Getting rid of tax breaks for oil companies is the best road to take.

  2. sorry…fingers not doing too well this morning..