WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement after the House passed the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act by a strong bipartisan vote of 324-84:
"The cost of gas has now climbed to $3.79 per gallon, and oil has hit a record of $129 per barrel. The Democratic Congress has moved to meet that challenge by passing the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act, a bill that would hold the OPEC monopoly accountable for price fixing that flouts the free market and artificially drives up the cost of crude oil. Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC countries control nearly two thirds of the global oil trade, and prices will remain high as long as America stays addicted to oil and fails to confront its producers. If signed into law, this bill would authorize legal action against oil cartel members and establish a Justice Department task force to crack down on price gouging, anticompetitive practices, and market manipulation—all of which are inflating the price at the pump.
"It’s just one part of a Democratic agenda to address these record prices. We’ve also voted to temporarily suspend shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a bill signed into law yesterday by President Bush, which should bring prices down. We’ve passed a landmark energy independence bill, which invests in alternative fuels and increased fuel efficiency. And we’re working to end billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that are piling up record profits, so that America can invest in clean energy instead.
"It’s an agenda in stark contrast to the President’s: drill in the Arctic Refuge, plead for more oil from King Abdullah, and threaten vetoes for everything else. We leave it to American families to decide who’s serious about getting gas prices under control."