(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders wants President Bush to convene a national energy summit to look at ways to deal with the skyrocketing price of gasoline.
The cost of gas has increased more than 40 cents in the last month – the national average is roughly two-eighty a gallon.
Sanders says there are a number of short term and long term issues that need to be addressed.
In the short term, Sanders wants the President to deliver a clear message to the major oil companies. He thinks the companies should be told that it’s wrong to be making record profits at the expense of consumers – particularly at a time when oil inventories are at an 8-year high:
(Sanders) “Realistically if the President of the United States brought people from the oil industry into the Oval Office and said very loudly, stop ripping off the American people or we’re going to take action.’ I believe that in 5 minutes the price of gas at the pump would decline. These people are getting away with murder.”
(Host) In the long term, Sanders says it’s critical to increase federal gas mileage standards for all cars and trucks:
(Sanders) “It is beyond comprehension that the vehicles that we are driving in the United States today get worse mileage per gallon than was the case 20 years ago. We’re moving in the wrong direction the technology is out there for automobiles to be getting 50,60, 70 miles per gallon.”
(Host) Sanders is also backing the passage of windfall profits tax on oil companies and he wants to restrict tax credits for companies that drill for oil and gas on public lands.