Peter DeFazio Nails Republicans On Oil

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR04) railed against the Republican special interests that prevent any real progress from being made on getting control over skyrocketing fuel prices and huge profits being realized by oil companies while consumers struggle with high fuel costs.

Now, there’s a few things we could do. Now, the president’s a big free trader, right? He’s trying to push us into more free trade agreements. They say they work great. He wants “rules-based trade.” Well, we’re in the WTO, they have rules. The rules say you can not restrict the supply of a commodity simply to drive up the price. That’s what OPEC’s doing. Now five members of OPEC are in the WTO. Will this president – the oil man –- the friend of the Saudis and the others – will he file a complaint in the World Trade Organization against OPEC? No. I wrote to him three years ago, asking him to do that. The answer was no. If the Saudis and the OPEC countries want to get together and collude to drive up the price of the oil, that’s just fine with George Bush. He’s all for free trade, and rules-based trade, except when the rules might hurt some of his buddies. And then, the oil industry just piggy backs on top of that.

The Gavel: The price for regular gasoline reached a record $3.53 per gallon today – 23 percent more than this time last year and 140 percent more than when President Bush took office. The Democratic-led Congress has passed a number of key bills to reduce the burden of rising gas prices on Americans and make America less dependent on foreign oil – but the President has threatened to veto each one. House Democrats call on President Bush to support House-passed legislation such as the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act, The Energy Price Gouging Act, and the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act and bring real relief to America’s families and businesses now.

Full transcript below the fold:

I believe it’s April Fool’s Day here on the floor of the House. To hear the members of the GOP – the Grand Old Oil Party – talking about how they’re there for the consumers, they want to do something to help American consumers. The same party that benefits disproportionately from massive campaign contributions from the oil and gas and coal industries. The same party that holds the White House, with two oil men in the White House. The same party, on the Senate side, defeated our energy provisions because they would have God forbid, made the oil and gas companies pay taxes like other members of the corporate committee. It would have taken away subsidies. They’re crying crocodile tears about the massive profits that their buddies are making, their campaign contributors, their sponsors. And the president, the oil man. And the vice president, the oil man supply services company.

Q: Will the gentleman yield?

No, I won’t yield. Thank you very much.

Now, there’s a few things we could do. Now, the president’s a big free trader, right? He’s trying to push us into more free trade agreements. They say they work great. He wants “rules-based trade.” Well, we’re in the WTO, they have rules. The rules say you can not restrict the supply of a commodity simply to drive up the price. That’s what OPEC’s doing. Now five members of OPEC are in the WTO. Will this president – the oil man –- the friend of the Saudis and the others – will he file a complaint in the World Trade Organization against OPEC? No. I wrote to him three years ago, asking him to do that. The answer was no. If the Saudis and the OPEC countries want to get together and collude to drive up the price of the oil, that’s just fine with George Bush. He’s all for free trade, and rules-based trade, except when the rules might hurt some of his buddies. And then, the oil industry just piggy backs on top of that.

Now, there is another thing they could do. They can help us with a provision we put in the Farm bill, which is stalled in the Senate, which would close the Enron loophole. Remember Enron? Ken Boy, the President's favorite guy? He just died before he went to jail. Well, the Enron boys convinced the Republican Congress to give them a special loophole, to deregulate energy commodities, to allow for massive speculation. And there is widespread agreement in the financial community that about 50 cents of the price that's being paid at the pump today is being paid purely because of speculation brought about by the Enron loophole. You really want to do something about the high price of oil? Help us close the Enron loophole. Get your president to file a complaint against OPEC for colluding to drive up the price of oil. Help strip out the taxpayers' subsidies to the oil, coal and gas industry. You are taking out of their wallets while you are taking it out of their pockets at the pump.


Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.