Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6022, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act. Congressman Grijalva released the following statement:
“With working families struggling to pay even the most basic costs of living, I am proud to join the Democratic Majority in passing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act, in order to reduce the pain at the gas pump.
“This measure directs the Administration to temporarily suspend the filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) through the end of the year, as long as the price of crude oil remains above $75 per barrel.
“This is a matter of supply and demand. Filling of the SPR takes 70,000 barrels of oil off the market each day. By suspending the filling, that oil will go back into the supply chain, reducing gas prices from 5 to 24 cents a gallon – a critical first step for Arizona’s families, businesses, and the economy.
“The SPR is roughly 97 percent full – the highest level ever – with enough oil to meet our national security needs, but still the President has refused to suspend the filling. This Administration’s ambivalence towards the issue is staggering. Last week, President Bush said he doesn’t ‘think it would affect prices’ to suspend the filling of the SPR. History speaks otherwise. In fact, in 2000, just the announcement of a SPR moratorium dropped oil prices in the market from $30 to $20 a barrel.
“With all the talk about a gas tax ‘holiday’ that will save the consumer little if any money, it is time to provide real relief at the pump for the American people. While only a short term fix, it is a step in the right direction.”
H.R 6022 is supported by the American Truckers Association, Air Transport Association, National Farmers Union, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, U.S. PIRG, and the Center for American Progress.