Alexander Calls for Serious Senate Action on High Gas Prices

Says “Our job is to look down the road a few years and try to create a better environment for people”

Posted on July 25, 2008

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following remarks on the floor of the Senate on finding a solution for $4 gas prices: • “Our job is to look down the road a few years and try to create a better environment for people. In addition, the price of gasoline today is based upon the expected supply and expected demand tomorrow. So if this world saw the United States of America take major steps today to change the supply and demand in the world for oil and gas, the price would be affected today.” • “I get stories from marines who do not have money for their vacation with their family after 18 months in Iraq, from moms who are losing their job because they cannot afford the commute. We have an opportunity. We could be doing it this day. We could be debating Senator Thune's proposals on wind and renewable energy and biofuels, Senator Sessions' proposals on conservation and plug-in vehicles. Yet we are in this parliamentary procedure to block us from offering anything that has to do with finding more and using less.” • “We could have been taking these amendments up since last Friday. . . We could have already spent one whole week dealing with issues on the supply side and demand side that would help lower the price of gasoline and other expenses.” • “Nissan announced in Tennessee the other day that it will have a pure electric car out in about 3 years. General Motors, Toyota, Ford -- they are all going to be selling these cars. We are going to have the cars. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which serves the region where we live, says it has plenty of electricity at night which it can sell at low cost. So we have the cars coming. We have the electricity. All we need is the cord. We could use a debate and discussion on the Senate floor to help make this country a place in which plug-in electric cars and trucks would succeed.” • “I went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in May and suggested we need a new Manhattan Project for clean energy independence, to put us on a path, over the next 5 years, toward clean energy independence. We would start with doing the things we already know how to do, such as building more nuclear powerplants – we know how to do that – offshore drilling, for which 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf is now, by law, off limits. But I mentioned, then, several things we do not know how to do. We ought to have crash programs and do them quickly. One was to make solar energy cost competitive with fossil fuels in 5 years. Another was research in advanced biofuels so we can make alternative fuels from crops we do not eat as well as crops such as corn that we do eat. That is another way to use less oil. Another is to make all new buildings green buildings. We waste a lot of energy, and much of it is in our buildings. Another goal is to make plug-in electric cars and trucks commonplace.” ### A full transcript of Senator Alexander’s floor remarks is available upon request.