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Gas Prices—Time to Talk Solutions

Energy

Media Matters for America

Gas prices are on the decline as we head into the summer driving season, deflating the GOP's gas price attacks and pushing their allies to use their old playbook against clean energy. (Click here for Solyndra talking points.) Now is the time to go on offense with progressive energy solutions—which polls show Americans rightly see as more credible than "drill here, drill now."

FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

  • It's common sense: when our cars can go more miles on the same amount of gas, we can go longer between fill ups and pay less at the pump.
  • With the Administration's new fuel efficiency standards, families will save money, our nation will use less oil, and we can all breathe cleaner air—everybody wins.
  • Ultimately the only way to make America more energy secure and less vulnerable to oil price spikes is to get less dependent on oil. The nonpartisan experts say strengthening fuel efficiency standards is one of the best ways to do that.
  • Automakers innovate new technologies all the time and our market system is all about competition. So it just makes sense for automakers to compete for customers based on how efficient and cost-effective their cars are.

Killer Facts: Thanks to the Obama Administration's fuel efficiency standards, Americans will save more than $1.7 trillion at the pump—more than $8,000 per vehicle by 2025. Almost 90 percent of small business owners believe it's important to take action now to increase fuel efficiency in cars and light trucks.

REINING IN WALL STREET SPECULATION

  • It's bad enough Wall Street greed crashed our economy, putting millions of families out of work. But the big banks keep inventing new ways to gamble and stick us with the tab.
  • Now Wall Street speculators are abusing the oil markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage and driving prices higher—only to flip the oil for a quick profit at our expense.
  • We need to crack down on this excessive speculation and manipulation that's costing families at the pump—by making sure there's strong oversight of Wall Street and strong penalties for abusing the rules.
  • But instead of reining in Wall Street abuses, Republican politicians are trying to give them more power. Letting Wall Street write their own rules and keeping us hooked on oil aren’t solutions. They’re favors to campaign donors.

Killer Facts: Each year, the impact of excessive speculation on gas prices costs a typical owner of a Honda Civic $400 more, a Ford Explorer driver $550 more, and an F-150 pickup owner $750 more.

CLEANER, SAFER SOURCES OF ENERGY

  • We're already drilling like crazy and U.S. oil production is the highest it's been in years—but prices are still going up. It should be clear that we need to pursue more than the fossil fuels that will run out anyway.
  • So let's invest in energy efficiency to make us less dependent on oil and in cleaner, safer sources of energy like wind and solar that won't ever run out.
  • In contrast, Republican politicians' idea of "all of the above" is really just billions in taxpayer dollars for oil companies already raking in record profits.
  • When it comes to our nation's clean energy investments, examples like Solyndra show exactly why we need to invest more. We should be leading the world in creating renewable energy jobs, not shipping them overseas to China and Europe.

Killer Facts: Under President Obama, the U.S. is now closest we've been in almost 20 years to achieving energy independence. For the first time in over a decade, America is importing less than half of the oil our nation uses, and domestic oil output is the highest in eight years.

THE GOP STRATEGY: WHAT DOESN'T WORK

  • Look, this should be obvious: the oil industry is no longer a new start-up that needs help getting off the ground. Big Oil is raking in billions in profits but still taking billions in taxpayer handouts, keeping our nation hooked on oil, and lobbying to kill off their clean energy competitors.
  • But Republican politicians keep pushing more drilling and pipelines like they're the answer to all our energy problems.
  • The GOP energy plan is just a poorly disguised fundraising strategy. Taxpayer handouts for Big Oil don't bring down gas prices, but they do bankroll billions for Republican donors.
  • In fact, the Keystone pipeline—one of their favorite talking points on gas prices—could actually raise prices at the pump. And it'd take 45 years for Keystone to carry as much as the oil saved by the Obama Administration's fuel efficiency standards.

Killer Facts: For every penny more consumers pay at the gas pump, Big Oil profits shoot up by another $200 million. In return, almost 90 percent of the oil and gas industry's contributions this election cycle have gone to Republicans.

Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.

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