Sanders: Stop Gasoline Price Gouging

Senator Bernie Sanders took part in a press conference this afternoon at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where the pump price for regular gas was $3.06 a gallon.

In Vermont, regular gas cost as much at $3.09 at a Citgo station in East Corinth. An Exxon station in South Royalton and a Shell station in West Burke both charged $3.07 a gallon

Senator Bernie Sanders took part in a press conference this afternoon at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where the pump price for regular gas was $3.06 a gallon. In Vermont, regular gas cost as much at $3.09 at a Citgo station in East Corinth. An Exxon station in South Royalton and a Shell station in West Burke both charged $3.07 a gallon, according to http://vermontgasprices.com. Here is Senator Bernie Sanders statement on gasoline prices: "Since George W. Bush has been president, the price of gas at the pump has more than doubled, and since the elections last November, prices have gone up by over 83 cents a gallon. "Coming from a rural State, where it is not uncommon for people to commute 100 miles to work and back five days a week, the increased price of gas is taking a serious bite out of their paychecks. "Clearly, Congress can and must do something to lower the price of gas.What can we do? "First, the time has come to impose a windfall profits tax on the oil companies. Over the past six years, the five largest oil companies have made over $440 billion in profits. And, in 2006 alone, Exxon-Mobil made $39.5 billion in profits, more than any other company in the history of the world. In my opinion, it makes no sense for the oil companies to make outlandish profits, while consumers are paying more than three bucks a gallon at the pump. "Secondly, the President must take action by filing a complaint in the World Trade Organization against OPEC for illegally colluding to raise oil prices. It's time the wealthy OPEC cartel obeyed international law and stop manipulating the price of oil."And, finally, it is time to impose an immediate moratorium on big oil company mergers and give serious consideration to breaking up some of the biggest oil companies in this country including Exoon-Mobil, Conoco-Phillips and Chevron-Texaco."Over 2,600 mergers have been approved in the U.S. petroleum industry since the 1990s. As a result of these mergers, just five companies now control over 60 percent of the retail gasoline market, half of all domestic refinery capacity, and almost 50 percent of all domestic oil production. The rapid consolidation in the oil industry has reduced competition and led to higher prices at the pump. "Frankly, I would not be completely honest if I told you that any of these ideas will become law any time soon. With a President and a Vice President in the White House who come from the oil industry, it is highly unlikely that they will do anything that goes against the interests of the big oil companies."And, I am not sure that these ideas could overcome a filibuster in the Senate, especially given the fact that since 1998, the oil and gas industry has spent over $523 million on lobbying, and since 1990, they have made over $200 million in campaign contributions.While taking on a powerful special interest like Big Oil is very difficult, I believe we owe it to the American people to bring this legislation to the floor -- allow Members to vote how they will -- let the President veto the legislation if he wants and let the American people make their judgment.To view video from the Press Conference click here.Chart courtesy of VermontGasPrices.com. To view other informative charts click on of the following: