Alexander Leads Effort to Prevent 53-Cent-Per-Gallon Gasoline Tax Hike

Warns Memorial Day Drivers That the Wrong Climate Legislation Before Congress Could Wreck Travel Budgets Without Reducing Pollution

Posted on May 23, 2008

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today warned holiday travelers that record high gasoline prices could rise even higher if a provision in upcoming climate-change legislation is not corrected. Alexander said the legislation, if enacted in its current form, would eventually lead to a 53-cent-per-gallon gasoline cost increase for the average Tennessee family. “Family budgets are already straining under high gasoline prices as the summer travel season begins without Congress making matters worse,” Alexander said. “If the wrong climate-change legislation currently being considered by Congress is not improved, a Nashville family traveling to Gatlinburg would pay nearly $240 more roundtrip on gas. It would be an enormous mistake not to fix this bill, so I’m offering an amendment to strip the tax out of the legislation.” The Senate is scheduled to begin debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act on Monday, June 2. Alexander’s amendment to that bill would prevent the government from limiting the production of gasoline and other transportation fuels. Alexander, who has sponsored several bills to reduce power plant pollution since 2003, said, “I’ve proposed limits on power plant emissions, but limiting fuel production is the wrong approach and will only add 53 cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline over time. A better way to meet America’s energy needs while protecting our environment is a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy Independence. By focusing on new technologies and emerging fuel-saving ideas like plug-in cars, we’ll limit our impact on the environment without breaking family budgets.”