Rep. DeGette Assails Bush on Gas Prices

We’re almost there.  We’re closing in on the record, and according to the experts we are almost sure to surpass it!  Unfortunately, the record I’m talking about is the average price of gasoline in Colorado.

According to AAA, the average price for regular unleaded gas along much of the Front Range is about $2.94.  In the Fort Collins – Loveland, Greeley, and Grand Junction, gas prices are a little higher, while in the rest of the state, the average has already surpassed $3 a gallon.

No part of the state has had to wait long for this new chance to set a higher record.  It was only last August that prices in Durango, Fort Collins-Loveland, Pueblo, and Vail reached new records.  For Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Grand Junction, you have to go back nearly two years, to right after Hurricane Katrina.  Though, if you want to get technical, the inflation adjusted peak was back in the early 80s. We’re quickly closing in on that record, too.

Recognizing that this is not the kind of record we generally want to set, Colorado’s Congressional delegation is searching for solutions.  The dean of the delegation, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver), recently assailed the Bush Administration and its “failed energy policy”.

DeGette said this past Friday:

The Bush Administration’s energy policy of giving more tax giveaways to big oil companies is doing little to lessen our dependence on foreign oil or reduce the impact of rising gas prices on the pocketbooks of American families.

To date, the Bush Administration has failed to provide long term energy solutions or relief for American families. I am proud that Congress in its first 100 hours passed the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 to repeal $14 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil companies and invest instead in clean renewable energy and alternative fuels and energy efficiency.

According to Rep. John Salazar (D-Alamosa), promoting biofuels could provide short term benefits, in addition to possibly being a long term solution:

Renewables are the key to our energy needs. We can help re-establish the ethanol plants along the Arkansas River, and bio-diesel plants, like the one they’re proposing in Durango, the one that’s already installed and constructed in Alamosa, Colorado. These are the key answers to our energy needs and I believe they will have an immediate impact on lowering gas prices.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Fort Morgan) seems focused on renewable fuels having only a long term impact, as she has backed a “25 by 25” plan to produce 25% of the nation’s fuels by the year 2025.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) offers a more controversial view on his website:

Congressional opponents of common-sense oil and gas exploration, and their friends in the radical environmental movement, appear hell-bent on hampering the ability of America’s energy sector to contribute to both the creation of jobs for American workers, and cheaper energy for American consumers.

In addition, there is a “Dear Colleague” letter circulating in the House, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), asking for cosponsors to the “Energy Price Gouging Prevention Act”.  The list of 89 cosponsors includes DeGette and Rep. Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs).

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Mark Mehringer

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