U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in Jackson today that he voted against the Senate adjourning without addressing $4 per gallon gasoline.
“I voted against adjournment because the Senate should never have gone home without dealing with $4 per gallon gasoline prices. The American people expect Congress to take action, not take a vacation. I voted consistently for two weeks to get the Senate to deal with this problem and keep other legislation off the floor. The sooner we authorize offshore oil drilling and make it easier for Americans to drive plug-in electric cars and trucks the sooner we’ll stop sending billions a year overseas to hostile countries, and that will help us get gas prices down.”
Alexander outlined his proposals for dealing with high gas prices with John Ross, President of the Jackson-based Milan Express trucking company, a family owned business.
Mr. Ross told Alexander, “I’m forty years old, and this is one of the toughest times I’ve ever experienced. Fuel is our number one expense, taking about 30 percent of all our cost. And since last year, the cost of diesel has risen 40 percent. If everything continues at this same rate, we are on track to spend $17 million more on fuel this year. We use a fuel surcharge to make up some of the cost, but it’s impossible to cover all of it. We’ve cut our trucks from 68 mph to 65 to get better mileage, so we’re trying different things, but it’s just really hard right now.”
Alexander noted that “Tennesseans across the state have been feeling the pinch of rising fuel costs, and Congress needs to take action immediately to address these concerns. The Senate should take up the Gas Price Reduction Act to find more and use less.”
Alexander has joined other senators to introduce the Gas Price Reduction Act (S. 3202) which would support energy production like offshore drilling and nuclear power while promoting less reliance on foreign oil though the development of plug-in cars and trucks. Specifically, the bill would:
• “Find More” – increasing American oil production by one-third through offshore exploration and western states oil shale (3 million new barrels a day).
• “Use Less” – reducing imported oil by one-third by making it easier for millions of Americans to drive plug-in electric cars and trucks (4 million barrels of oil savings a day). The bill also encourages the government to increase its purchases of electric vehicles.
Alexander also said that the bipartisan proposal unveiled last week by the “Gang of 10” was another step in the right direction: "These are the right ideas: plug-in cars and trucks, conservation and producing more American energy,” Alexander said. “The Senate should take up these bipartisan recommendations as soon as we reconvene in September, improve them and make them law. Senator Corker has rendered a real service by his participation in this working group."
Alexander said, “I will continue to take stories like Mr. Ross’s to the Senate floor in Washington as I have been doing each week with some of the hundreds of letters and emails I receive about how high gas prices are hurting Tennesseans.”