As Gas Prices Rise, Bennet Pushes for Substantive Ways to Ease Pain at the Pump, Break Reliance on Overseas Oil

Washington, DC – With an average gallon of regular gas costing Coloradans $3.42 – 45 cents more than just two months ago – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet questioned the Obama Administration on the real solutions to bring down gas prices.  Bennet has authored a comprehensive plan to eliminate our dependence on overseas oil and reduce prices for Colorado consumers over the long term.

At the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing titled “Evaluating High Gas Prices and How New Rules and Innovative Farming Can Help,” Bennet pushed for responsible domestic solutions to break our country’s addiction to foreign oil without compromising our water and sensitive areas both on and offshore. 

“In a period of very difficult political conversation over the past two years across the country, and certainly in the state of Colorado, the one thing that people could rally behind – no matter what town hall meeting they were in – was the idea that we ought to break our addiction to foreign oil, especially oil that we imported from the Persian Gulf,” said Bennet.  “And like the ranking member, I believe we need to move beyond rhetoric on this question and start to think about solutions to this problem.”

Bennet continued,” In rural areas where work can be 50 miles from home and the mechanic 10 miles in the opposite direction, a fluctuation of just a few cents, as we’ve heard, in gas prices quickly can drive up the day-to-day cost of living. It might mean choosing between driving to work and paying the heating bill.”

He also raised concerns about ineffective perceived solutions to bring down gas prices like expanding drilling in protected areas, which the Administration agreed will have no appreciable effect on prices at the pump.

“Since the price of oil is set on a world market, any new domestic development can easily be offset by a reduction of output from OPEC, which clearly creates an unsustainable arrangement, situation” said Bennet.  “…We know that…opening up protected areas to new drilling might reduce gas prices in America by three to four cents, and those savings wouldn’t come till 2027.”

Last year, Bennet helped write the Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act, which would lay out a specific plan to achieve independence from overseas oil in the next 20 years – an imperative national security and economic objective. By pushing America to develop a clean energy economy, the Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act would have the dual effect of creating new, good-paying jobs and strengthening our national security by reducing our dependence on overseas oil. For more information on the bill, please click here.

Just last week, Bennet joined several colleagues in a letter to House and Senate leadership expressing concern over proposed cuts to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which protects consumers from high gas prices caused by oil speculators.

Earlier today, President Obama gave a speech on securing our energy future.

For video from the hearing, please click here.