GAS PRICES; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 85
(Senate - May 23, 2018)

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[Pages S2845-S2846]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                               GAS PRICES

  Mr. SCHUMER. Finally, Mr. President, gas prices. Few things matter 
more to the average consumer than the price of a gallon of gasoline. 
When gas prices go through the roof, it eats away at a family's income, 
leaving less to cover the cost of anything else--groceries, medicine, 
tuition, a nice summer vacation, which families cherish. Recent data 
suggests that gas prices are about to climb even higher this summer, 
and experts suggest that actions and inactions on the part of the Trump 
administration are a major piece of that story.
  According to energy analysts and experts, President Trump's decision 
to pull out of the Iran deal led to higher oil prices. OPEC has decided 
to cut production, also raising prices. Even though President Trump 
tweeted that OPEC's decision ``will not be accepted,'' the American 
people are still

[[Page S2846]]

awaiting action from the President that will help America's motorists. 
He is good pals with the Crown Prince, who is running Saudi Arabia with 
the heads of the United Arab Emirates. He seems to have a good 
relationship with Putin. Why doesn't he jawbone them to at least stop 
constricting production so prices can come down? He isn't. He will talk 
to them about other things but not about something so vital to the 
middle class.
  As a result, gas prices are headed toward $3 a gallon, and the U.S. 
Energy Information Administration estimates that the average American 
family can expect to pay $200 more this driving season than last 
driving season and $250 more than the 2016 driving season. Prices are 
up more than 60 cents, on average, from the last day Obama was in 
office until today. Where is President Trump?
  The rising gas prices will, as one Goldman Sachs economist put it, 
roughly cancel out the 2018 consumption boost from tax cuts. Big 
touting of the tax cuts, but when gasoline prices take it all away, 
where is our President? Whatever benefit working families might have 
seen from the Trump tax scam for the rich, if they got any benefit at 
all, is being wiped out by gas prices, and what about our Big Oil 
executives and oil companies? They got huge tax breaks--huge tax 
breaks. Why isn't the consumer seeing any of that at the pump? At the 
same time our oil companies get huge tax breaks, they raise prices on 
everybody. How is that helping the middle class? Why isn't President 
Trump jawboning them like he does on other issues? Where is he?
  It is time for the President to stand up to OPEC, to stand up to Big 
Oil, and do what is necessary to lower gas prices. Remember, once 
again, the hypocrisy of this President. This is the same President who 
tweeted multiple times that President Obama was to blame for rising gas 
prices. So I would remind the President that the final price of gas 
under President Obama was an average of $2.36 a gallon, and the current 
price under President Trump is $2.92 a gallon and going up.
  I hope, for the sake of the middle class and those struggling to get 
there--the folks for whom gas prices really make a difference--that 
President Trump takes immediate action to bring down the cost of gas. 
He has the power. He can force OPEC to do things by jawboning them. He 
can force the Big Oil companies to consider lowering their prices, 
given all the profits they got from his big tax bill. Where is he?
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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