In Advance of Summer Driving Season, Sen. Brown Urges Energy Secretary to Take Preventive Steps Against High Gas Prices

Sen. Brown Writes to Energy Secretary Chu to Preempt Rise in Summer Gas Prices and Invest in Energy Independence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of the summer driving season, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu urging him to prevent rising gas prices from draining Ohio families’ already tight budgets.

“High energy prices are not only felt at the gasoline pump; these price spikes reverberate throughout our nation’s economy,” Brown wrote in a letter to Sec. Chu. “From the growing cost of food to rising expenses for businesses large and small, high gas prices are a drag on our economy and a drain on family budgets. As prices rise, the choice between buying a tank of gas and putting food on the table becomes a real one for Ohioans, particularly those facing stagnant wages or unemployment.”

This week, gas prices in Ohio reached $2.80 per gallon- nearly matching the last summer’s high of $2.81. Brown urged Sec. Chu to work with Congress to develop clean energy sources and invest in clean energy technology that would put manufacturers back to work. Brown specifically called for Sec. Chu to be proactive and seek solutions that would preempt summer price spikes and to advance energy independence by promoting domestic clean energy research, development, and production.

Read the full text of Brown’s letter below.


April 13, 2010


The Honorable Steven Chu
Secretary
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As summer and the traditional traveling season quickly approach, it is vital that the Administration redouble its efforts to prevent and alleviate rising gas prices for consumers.  I have heard from many Ohioans who are struggling to make ends meet in a slow-recovering economy.  The added expense from swelling energy costs will only exacerbate this struggle.

As you know high energy prices are not only felt at the gasoline pump; these price spikes reverberate throughout our nation’s economy.  From the growing cost of food to rising expenses for businesses large and small, high gas prices are a drag on our economy and a drain on family budgets. As prices rise, the choice between buying a tank of gas and putting food on the table becomes a real one for Ohioans, particularly those facing stagnant wages or unemployment. 

It is with these challenges in mind that I encourage you to work with Congress to keep gasoline prices from skyrocketing.  While Congress considers energy legislation, we must continue our efforts to develop alternative energy sources, invest in new clean energy technologies that put our manufacturers back to work, and hold oil companies and speculators accountable for price inflation unrelated to changes in supply or demand. 

It is critical that the Department 1) take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach and seek ways of preempting summer price spikes; and 2) continue to invest in our nation’s energy independence by promoting domestic clean energy research, development, and production.
We must not allow foreseeable oil price volatility to impede our nation’s economic recovery or deal another blow to struggling families and businesses.  Your leadership in collaboration with Congress is essential to ensure US energy policy confronts the challenges we face and capitalizes on the opportunities before us.  I am confident that with the right policy choices, our nation can and will achieve more stability in US gas prices now and lead the global clean energy economy going forward.

I look forward to our continuing work in this area.

Sincerely,


Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

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