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WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding H.R. 1252, the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, which was introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and which passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 284-141. Fifty-six Republicans joined 228 Democrats in voting for this legislation. Majority Leader Hoyer also is the lead sponsor of H.R. 1300, the PROGRESS Act, which, among other things, would establish a Manhattan-like Project on energy independence:
“For six years, the Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress passively stood by and watched as our nation’s dependence on foreign oil deepened, global warming went unaddressed, consumers struggled with rising gas prices, and oil companies made record profits. The new Democratic majorities in Congress will not be potted plants on this vital pocketbook issue, which affects our national, economic and environmental security. We are acting on an aggressive energy independence agenda.
“Today, for example, the House passed bipartisan legislation that will crack down on price gouging and bringing greater transparency to oil and gas markets. Yesterday, the House passed legislation – on a bipartisan vote of 345-72 – that authorizes the Justice Department to take legal action against OPEC state-controlled entities that participate in conspiracies to limit the supply or fix the price of oil.
“Clearly, our work on America’s energy policy is not finished. An issue this complex requires both short- and long-term action. In the first five months of the 110th Congress, the Democratic House Majority has voted to rollback $14 billion in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and to reinvest those funds in clean, alternative fuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Democrats also are developing legislation to address energy independence and global warming by Independence Day.
“As our efforts on energy independence continue, it is imperative that the Congress be mindful of the severe economic impact skyrocketing gasoline prices are having on American consumers and businesses. Democrats are absolutely committed to addressing this critical national issue with both short- and long-term solutions.”