Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after he chaired the JEC hearing which he called on gas prices.
“With gas prices nearing $4 a gallon, it is important to that we take a close look at how these refinery closures will affect Pennsylvanians and consumers across the nation”, said Senator Casey. “With limited pipeline capacity to import from the Gulf Coast, this loss of refining activity in the Northeast will increase the region’s dependence on foreign fuel and lead to higher prices for consumers.”
The hearing was entitled “Gas Prices in the Northeast: Potential Impact on the American Consumer Due to Loss of Refining Capacity.” The hearing focused on the impact potential closures of petroleum refineries serving the Northeast could have on prices at the pump in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.
Senator Casey has also recommended some common-sense steps that Congress can take help address the problem.
Expand Natural Gas Development in Pennsylvania and Throughout the Country- Casey outlined a bill which he will introduce in the coming weeks that will fund natural gas development on the state level. Casey’s bill will provide increased funding for states to promote natural gas development and allow states to decide how best to deploy those resources- not the federal government.
Crack Down on Speculation in the Oil Market- Casey called on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to use its authority to limit speculation in the oil market so that investors on Wall Street cannot continue to drive up the price at the pump.
Take on OPEC’s Collusive Practices- Casey called on Congress to pass the bipartisan NOPEC (No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels) Act. The bill would close a loophole in current law that prevents the Department of Justice (DOJ) from bring suit against members of the OPEC cartel for collusive practices. The Casey-supported bill would close the loophole and give the DOJ the tools it needs.