Hartford, CT - Focusing on the impact of rising gasoline prices on small retailers and consumers, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for a ban on exports of oil drilled on federal land, an intensified crackdown on speculation, and an end to subsidies for big oil companies.
“The nation must ensure that oil drilled in America stays in America, eliminate wasteful giveaways, and intensify the crackdown on speculation,” Blumenthal said. “These measures are vital not only to lower prices at the pump for consumers, but also to keep in business hundreds of small retailers who are major employers of thousands of Connecticut workers. To add insult to injury, oil companies still receive billions of dollars in hidden subsidies from taxpayers, despite $137 billion last year in profits, and continue to ship abroad oil taken from taxpayer-owned federal lands. Despite rising prices for oil, they use only a fraction of the land leased for oil and natural gas production – drilling rights which they should be required to use or lose.”
“We support the efforts of Sen. Blumenthal to reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign oil and increase domestic product,” said Mike Fox, Executive Director of the Stamford-based Gasoline & Automotive Service Dealers of America (GASDA). “At the same time we must ensure that increasing domestic production ‘requires’ oil companies to keep most of that oil here in the U.S. rather than exporting to higher paying countries, and reduces prices here in the U.S. We need to adopt the Saudi model of taking care of us first!”
Retail gasoline stations, most of which are small, family-owned and operated businesses, provide employment for approximately 4,000 people in Connecticut.
The largest oil companies posted $137 billion in profits last year, but continue to receive billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Repealing the tax breaks would save nearly $24 billion over ten years. Currently, 93.3 million acres have been leased for oil and gas development, but only 25 percent (18.7 million acres) are producing oil/natural gas. Of the 12,821 permits issued, only 5,821 are producing - leaving 7,000 non-producing permits.
Citing a recent report from the investment bank Goldman Sachs, a Feb. 27, 2012 article in Forbes said excessive oil speculation adds $.56 to the price of a gallon of gas.