Editorial: Udall on track with gas plan | VailDaily.com
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Editorial: Udall on track with gas plan

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

It’s encouraging to see that Colorado Rep. Mark Udall was able to get one item checked off on his six-point plan to reduce gasoline prices for Americans. Earlier this week, the U.S. House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to halt shipments to the government’s strategic oil reserve. It’s been estimated that purchasing oil for the reserve can push gasoline up as much as 25 cents per gallon.

In an election year, it may seem a no-brainer to advocate gas-price relief.

But as prices push $4 per gallon in Eagle County, Udall’s efforts are appreciated and represent more than most legislators are doing (including Colorado’s Republican Sen. Wayne Allard, the only member of the U.S. Senate to vote against the reserve bill).

In addition to the reserve purchasing hiatus, Udall also proposes eliminating tax breaks worth $2.6 billion to the petroleum industry. The industry will whine that it’s unfair, but here’s one example to negate that argument: ExxonMobil’s net profit in the first quarter of this year was $10.89 billion. In the previous quarter, the company set an all-time record for a U.S. company by posting $11.66 billion in profit. This is hardly an industry in need of additional tax breaks at the expense of U.S. taxpayers struggling to fill their tanks.

Udall also proposes strengthening the power of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to investigate price-gouging at the pump; exploring the reduction of import tariffs on ethanol; increase oil and gas drilling in some areas where it’s environmentally sustainable; and promoting more use and research into renewable energies, such as cellulose ethanol.

It’s unlikely any of these will stop the precipitous climb of gas prices anytime soon, and it’s worth pointing out that $4-and-up per gallon was forecast some time ago, so Udall and the rest of Congress should have been on this months, if not years, ago.

Hopefully, though, this kind of thinking ” along with a new president come January ” will help move America forward in its energy needs and give us some relief at the pump.


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