Donna Edwards

Gas is Too Damn High - May 26, 2011

Donna Edwards
May 26, 2011— Washington, D.C.
Press conference
Print friendly

The American people understand why it is that we are standing here. I know I understand it. I was at the gas pump just a couple of days ago, and the same tank of gas that cost me $35 to fill my tank a year ago cost me almost $50 to fill my tank this year. That is what the American people understand. They understand that when they get up in the morning, they want to take care of themselves and their families. They want to go to work, and they can’t do it because gas prices are too high. You know what—forget gas prices are too high, gas prices are just too damn high.

Our colleagues have laid out the case today why it is that traditional economic theory is actually not working in this market place, the laws of supply and demand. Even the most elementary understanding of supply and demand says we don’t have a supply problem, we don’t have a demand problem, what we have is a speculation problem. What we have is a problem of oil companies that are getting billions of dollars in tax subsidies while gas prices are going up while speculation is driving the market up while Americans are struggling every day just to put gas in their tanks to get back and forth to work.

I do not think there is anything else left to be said. I think the American people understand fully what is going on right here. The oil companies say it is because the administration is dragging its feet in new drilling permits. That doesn’t have anything to do with what is going on in this market. The American people understand that. Folks are going to say that there is a lot of volatility in the world and we don’t know what’s going on in some parts of the world and that is what is driving the prices up. Nope. The American people understand that is not what is driving prices up at all. It is greed that is driving prices up. It is greed that is making sure that Americans can’t get back and forth to work without paying an arm and a leg to do it.

I am glad to be here with my colleagues. There are prescriptions for what needs to happen right now. We need to stop the speculation, and the way that you do that is you don’t incentivize it. Right now we have a system that incentivizes speculation in the market, we have a system that is encouraging prices to be driven up, and we have a system that is saying that if you raise those prices and you make money hand over fist, we actually are going to give you a reward for it by giving you billions of dollars in tax subsidies. I’m here just as somebody who gets up and goes to work for a living, like all of the people in all of our congressional districts, and they want to know why we are not doing something about it. We are going to do something about it because gas prices are just too damn high.

Speech from