WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the President delivered an energy speech that provided only a fig leaf for this Administration’s failed energy policies. Today the President will again make his case to the American people after pushing an Energy bill through Congress that fails to bring down the price of gas. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior Democratic Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter today asking President Bush to answer key questions about his new energy policy when he addresses the nation tonight.

“I hope when you address the American people tonight you will tell them what your plan does to reduce the price of gas for citizens who are being gouged by extortionate gas prices across the country,” said Representative Ed Markey in a letter to the White House. “Last week you said you had no ‘magic wand’ to reduce oil prices. Yesterday you waved a fig leaf instead. When will we actually see a plan that reduces oil imports, frees us of OPEC, and restores America’s control over our own destiny?”

The letter detailed further questions for the President to address “What will your plan do to decrease our dependency on foreign oil? Will you announce that you are instructing the Secretary of Transportation to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars and SUVs?”

Representative Markey authored several amendments to increase the fuel economy of automobiles and SUVs that were struck down by Republican members of Congress in the Energy markup.

“I hope the President will announce that he is instructing the Secretary of Energy to suspend further purchases of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and that he is instructing the Secretary to begin releasing oil from the Reserve in order to drive down prices.”

Representative Markey and Democrats are pushing the President to offer a plan that would reduce American dependency on foreign oil.

“Americans want lower gas prices and less dependency on imported oil from unstable regions such as the Middle East. So far, the President’s has offered no real plan for addressing the crunch that Americans feel on their pocket books right now from high gasoline prices at the pump and no real plan for harnessing American invention and industry to set us on the path to engaging new technologies and ending our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. If the President is unwilling or unable to provide positive answers to these five critical energy questions in tonight’s speech, he will have demonstrated once again that he does not take this energy crisis seriously and that he has no solutions that will actually address the current high prices we’re experiencing,” said Representative Markey.

Letter to President Letter to President, April 28, 2005

April 28, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness