Washington, DC -- Today President George Bush during his remarks at lunch in Chicago, claimed to have a “full blown strategy” for reducing gasoline prices and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement in response:

According to CQ transcripts, President Bush said, “And so we do have a full-blown strategy to make this country less dependent on foreign sources of oil, to help relieve pressure at the gas pump.”

Rep. Markey said, “The President has passed the buck on dramatically increasing fuel economy standards saying that he doesn’t have the authority to do so.   He doesn’t lack the authority to increase CAFE standards, he simply lacks the will to make our cars and SUVs more fuel efficient.”

“If an energy strategy that omits fuel economy is this Administration’s version of ‘full-blown’, the President must mean that he has blown it fully,” Rep. Markey concluded.

Rep. Markey is co-author with Rep. Boehlert (R-NY) of H.R. 3762 – a bill that would raise fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks from the current level of 25 miles per gallon (mpg) to 33 mpg over the next 10 years.  By 2025, this move would save 2.6 million barrels of oil each day.

According to yesterday’s Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest oil and gas market analysis, “This Week in Petroleum” and other historical EIA data, over the last week, oil prices have risen to $73.94 a barrel,  a $14.83 increase over the price charged at the same time last year, a $10.92 increase over the price charged for a barrel of oil when the Republican Energy bill was enacted into law (August 8, 2005) and a whopping $50.35 increase over the $23.59 per barrel price being charged for oil when President Bush took office.  Nationally, prices at the pump have also risen substantially, with the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline currently averaging $2.93, which represents a $0.71 increase over prices at the same time last year, a $0.56 increase over prices charged at the time the Energy bill became law last August, and a $1.66 increase over the $126.8 charged for a gallon of regular gasoline when Bush took office.

EIA also reports that gasoline imports are up substantially, noting that “total U.S. gasoline imports (TOT) averaged over 1.2 million barrels a day in April 2006, significantly more than the nearly 800,000 barrels a day averaged 5 years earlier and more than double the nearly 600,000 barrels a day averaged in 1996.”

For further information, visit http://markey.house.gov.

July 7, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein