On a day when Shell Oil Company announced profits of more than $6 billion, Americans continue to be gouged at the pump while Republican leaders in Washington offer no solutions, only tax breaks for their industry friends.
"Today another oil company joined the growing list of big energy firms raking in record profits on the backs of American consumers. It looks like the Bush-Cheney Administration's experience in the oilfields has really paid off for big oil," said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton. "Time and again, Republicans in Washington have had an opportunity to offer a real energy policy to the American people but instead have chosen to side with their friends in the industry. The American people want change, not more of the same failed Bush policies that have led to gas prices reaching an average of $3 a gallon and done nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Democrats remain committed to stopping price gouging and enacting a comprehensive energy policy that makes America energy independent by 2020. Together, America can do better."
The Democratic Party website in May 2006
NORAH O'DONNELL, GUEST HOST, "HARDBALL": What is it that the Democrats can do about high gas prices that the Republicans can't?
HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN: We can do a lot. The first thing we would do is give back the $16 billion that the Republicans gave to the oil companies. Here you have the spectacle of them giving away $16 billion worth of tax breaks, which are paid for by us and then we have got to pay $3 a gal on top of that. That's not right. If the Democrats had been if power, those kind of tax breaks never would have been given away...
...O'DONNELL: So you're telling me that if in these midterm elections that if Democrats win, that Americans will see an immediate drop in the price of gas at the pump?
DEAN: What I'm telling you is that if Democrats win, we'll be able to stop the president from doing the kinds of things that he's done that have increased oil prices dramatically.
Oil Hits $80 a Barrel for First Time
At the pump, meanwhile, the average national price of a gallon of gas inched higher by 0.1 cent overnight to $2.815, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Retail prices, which typically lag the futures market, peaked at $3.227 a gallon in late May.
Democrats insisted on fuel additives Like MTBE, which was recently determined to be poisoning water supplies and causing cancer, a key reason for lower gasoline supply, lower refinery production and (subsequently) rising gas prices.