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Entries in Gasoline (3)

Tuesday
Aug092011

Obama Announcing New Fuel Efficiency Standards for Trucks, Buses

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following Wall Street’s nosedive on Monday, President Obama will shift his focus Tuesday morning to new fuel efficiency standards, a measure he believes will help boost economic growth.

The president will hold a closed-off meeting at the White House with industry officials to discuss the first of their kind fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses and heavy-duty vehicles.  The announcement builds on the new fuel efficiency standards for automakers that the president unveiled last month.

Obama will outline new fuel consumption standards for three vehicle categories, which the administration claims will save a projected 530 million barrels of oil and $50 billion in fuel costs for consumers as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By 2018, big rigs and semi trucks will be required to achieve up to 23 percent in fuel reduction and green house gas emissions; heavy duty pick-up trucks and vans a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption; delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks will need to show a 9 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Later in the day, the president will meet privately with embattled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at the White House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May172011

Senate Dems Call for Investigation into Potential Price Fixing

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the latest move by Senate Democrats to target Big Oil for high gas prices, Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, and Chuck Schumer, D-NY, on Tuesday called for the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into potential price fixing by oil refiners.

"The irony is we've got more rigs drilling domestically than we've had in many many years. We've got higher production than we've had for a long long time. But they’re exporting more and they're cutting back on their capacity to deliver more gasoline into the supply chain," McCaskill said at a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill. "Now that is very hard for me to understand."

"Price is way up and they're only operating at 81 percent. Is there a link?" asked Schumer.

"We want the administration to focus on this area right away," he emphasized.

The request for an FTC probe comes as the Senate is set to hold a procedural vote on the Democrats' bid to scrap tax breaks for the five Big Oil companies. Democrats want to cut around $2 billion a year in tax subsidies for the five companies -- Shell, Chevron, BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips -- and use the savings to pay down the federal deficit.

However, the Democrats' bill appears poised to go down to defeat due to widespread Republican opposition -- and even some Democratic opposition from senators like Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and Alaska's Mark Begich. Begich last week denounced the bill as "a gimmick" that his party’s leaders were using to make a "good political score," while Landrieu said the measure was "laughable." Critics charge the Obama administration is playing a shell game of sorts: announcing new drilling permissions the administration already knows the EPA will deliberately block by restricting permits to oil companies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May112011

Senate Dems Deplore Gas Companies Receiving Taxpayer Subsidies

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Standing before a gas station sign bearing a price tag of $4.29 per gallon on Capitol Hill, five Senate Democrats echoed the chorus calling on the five most profitable oil companies to forego the corporate subsidies designated to their companies.

“The sign behind us symbolizes two things.  It symbolizes how much the average American driver is paying,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “But it also symbolizes the record profits that the oil companies are making.  Plain and simple.  We all know that we have a huge deficit problem in America and to start off the first place most Americans would start is with the record profits the oil companies are making and saying to them, knowing that that they should not get a taxpayer subsidy to boot.

“I think the American people understand as they pay more at the pump, big oil makes more money,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., one of the sponsors of the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, said. “The American driver’s pain is big oil’s profit, but what really drives Americans crazy is that their own government is helping to subsidize what are very largely profitable companies.”

“Enough is enough,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, said. “Right now, people are paying as much for gas as they’re paying for their healthcare and almost as much as they’re paying to feed their families and put groceries in their home. Now’s the time to take away subsidies that aren’t needed that just add insult to injury because of what taxpayers are having to pay.”

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, Ben Cardin, D-MD, Menendez, Schumer and Stabenow sent a letter to the five largest oil companies -- BP America, ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobil, and Shell -- before their testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday, asking them to give up the subsidies and “pay a fair share toward reducing the deficit.”

“Tell the truth.  You don’t need this subsidy, and it ought to go to reducing the deficit,” Schumer said. 

The Democrats also urged Boehner to include the subsidies cut in the deficit reduction plan. Schumer told reporters after the press conference that there is “widespread support” in the Democratic caucus for the bill and a vote on the legislation is scheduled on the Senate floor for next Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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