FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2005
Gas Prices At Record Highs In Rochester And The Finger Lakes Region; Schumer Again Urges Deployment Of Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Even though President Has Previously Refused, Sky-High Gas Prices Threaten Economy and Summer Travel Season Gas Prices in the Finger Lakes Region are up 30 Percent From Last Year Recently Passed Energy Bill Does Nothing to Bring Down Gas Prices, Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil, or Increase Fuel Economy Standards
Today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer again called on President Bush to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to bring down record-high gas prices. According to today's reports, barrels of oil traded for $65.85 on Wednesday and the national average per gallon of regular gasoline was $2.56 on Wednesday, and in some areas exceeded $3.00 per gallon. In the Finger Lakes Region today, the average regular gasoline price was even higher, selling for $2.61 per gallon, up 10 percent from last month.
In March, the national average retail gasoline price was around $2.00 per gallon and the price of a barrel of oil was under $50. It is also important to note that the SPR is reported to be at 100% capacity, and OPEC’s members increased their profits last year by over $86 billion. Schumer’s plan calls for a small percentage of the SPR to be released, and when this has been done in the past, including by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, has successfully lowered the price of oil nationwide.
“Prices at the pump are getting out control and are hurting families and businesses in the Finger Lakes Region,” Schumer said. “With the price of crude oil at record levels, I’m again urging the President to act immediately to reduce skyrocketing prices at the gasoline pump by tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). These record-high gasoline prices will hurt our economy by taking money out of the hands of working families and placing it into the pockets of OPEC.”
“The energy bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush this month doesn’t even begin to grapple with one of the great problems America will face in the next quarter century – dependence on foreign sources of energy. The lack of significant conservation measures or increased fuel economy standards, essential to energy independence is even more confounding given the sky-high gas prices consumers are facing right now,” Schumer concluded.