Contact: Dave Steuber
April 3, 2012
After taking swift action in the legislature to provide some relief at the pump, Connecticut Senate Democrats are sending a letter to their federal counterparts urging Congress to act quickly to rein in rampant oil speculation in the financial markets that is driving up gas prices.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) is leading the local effort to pressure Congress to take action against energy market manipulators and oil speculators.
“With gas prices shooting up dangerously close to $5 a gallon, hard-working people are feeling pain at the pump while big oil companies reap billions of dollars in profit,” said Sen. Duff. “We have done what we can at the state level to protect consumers. Now we ask Congress and President Obama to take the torch and crack down on irresponsible oil speculators on Wall Street.”
Last month, the state House and Senate approved a plan proposed by Democrats that strengthens protections against price gouging, cracks down on oil profiteering, places a cap on the gross receipts tax, and requires that savings are passed along to consumers.
In the letter, members of the Senate Democrat caucus applaud efforts put forth by Connecticut’s congressional delegation to curb oil speculation through calls for better oversight of the energy markets and increased funding of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. They also urge the rest of Congress to follow suit on the important issue.
The letter also points out that five of the biggest oil companies operating in the United States—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell—brought in a combined record-high profit of $137 billion last year, up 75 percent from 2010. The National Resource Defense Council recently estimated that for every $3 consumers pay for gas, oil companies earn more than a dollar of profit.
“There is no reason that speculators on Wall Street and big oil corporations should be generating huge profit margins at the expense working Americans. This is an injustice we feel every time we pay huge sums of money to fill up at the pump. It’s time to stand up for what’s right and we need help from Washington to do that,” Sen. Duff said.
Download a copy of the letter to Congress.
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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