With gas prices emptying the pockets of Americans nationwide, the Congressional Populist Caucus has unveiled its “Gas is Too Damn High” plan to lower gas prices.
“If anyone in America is wondering whether gas is too damn high, I have an answer for you: Hell, yeah. It is,” Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), said in a statement recently as the price of unleaded regular hovered at the $4 a gallon mark.
“Millions of hardworking, middle class families are already struggling to make ends meet—gas prices shouldn’t be another burden for them to bear,” he said. “Folks in my state drive long distances to get to work, sometimes over 100 miles, and they simply can’t afford gas at these prices.”
The caucus, comprised of Democratic representatives focused on middle-class economic issues, wants to lower gas prices using three strategies. Their first step is to release crude oil to refineries from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The caucus said this has worked in the past, lowering prices up to 33 percent.
The second strategy calls for ending tax breaks for big oil companies, claiming that this practice has been unfair to American consumers and allowed the biggest oil companies to make a combined $36 billion profit in the first quarter of this year.
The final measure calls for an end to“greedy” oil speculation. The strategy would direct the U.S. Commodities Future Trading Commission to control speculation-driven prices by implementing reforms mandated by the Dodd Frank Wall Street and Investment Reform Act, including limiting the number of contracts speculators can hold at any one time and other practices that result in market price manipulation.
“The speculators on Wall Street will ride down their private elevator from their penthouse, they’ll get in the backseat of their limousine and they’ll cruise on out to their third house in the Hamptons because the Republicans have their back,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, (D-Ore.), according to MSNBC.