May 13, 2009
Laura Henderson (202) 621-2951

Finger-Wagging Lawmakers Should Look in the Mirror

Lawmakers pursue policies that raise gas prices, blame refiners

WASHINGTON—As lawmakers in Congress continue to debate costly new energy regulations and taxes and as millions of Americans watch gas prices rise in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, IER president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement:

“The same lawmakers who denounce and defile America’s refiners as money-grubbing price gougers have time and again proposed policies that increase gas prices. Congress is going down that same road this week as it pursues the largest tax increase in history and a low carbon-fuel mandate, both of which will cripple America’s refineries’ ability to provide Americans with affordable gasoline. The cap and trade energy tax alone is expected to cost refineries $75.6 billion—a $75.6 billion tax that will indeed affect American families at the pump.

“It is the height of hypocrisy for lawmakers to point their fingers at the companies that produce gasoline as they simultaneously pursue policies that lead directly to further price increases. We suggest that for once, they look in the mirror and realize that every time they raise the cost of doing business in this country, they ensure that the cost increase is passed on to consumers. The American people cannot afford a $75.6 billion energy cap and tax anymore than they could afford any of the other taxes our leaders continue to support. Congress would better serve Americans if they focused on pro-growth economic policies—not job-killing energy taxes.”

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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