News Release

Gas Prices: Behind the Pain at the Pump

With gas prices rising for drivers across the country and Chevron reporting today that it posted $4 billion in profits for the first quarter, consumers are fuming while politicians are scrambling.

These energy-policy analysts are available for interviews:

STEVE KRETZMANN
Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International, said today: “As politicians of both parties scramble to give the appearance of action on gas prices and record profits for Big Oil, some of the biggest beneficiaries of those profits are up on Capitol Hill. Since 1998, the oil industry has given over $70 million to politicians of both parties. The truth is that there is very little Washington can or will do about gas prices and oil addiction as long as it remains in Houston’s back pocket. The first step to breaking our oil addiction has got to be a Separation of Oil and State — specifically a pledge by politicians of both parties to stop taking oil money. Only then will we begin to see real action on these issues.”
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ANTONIA JUHASZ
Juhasz is the author of the new book The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time. She said today: “The Bush administration has given the oil industry the highest profits in world corporate history with unprecedented subsidies, tax breaks, deregulation, facilitating monopoly concentration, permitting the companies to set high gas prices — approximately 20 cents of every dollar we pay at the pump is set directly by the oil companies (approximately 55 cents is set by the price of a barrel of oil and 25 cents by taxes), and — most brutally — fighting wars for oil on the industry’s behalf. None of this should come as a surprise: for the first time in history, the president, vice president, and secretary of state are all former energy company officials who received 13 times more money from the oil and gas sector in the 2000 presidential election than their competitors. The oil companies are only getting back what they paid for.” Juhasz is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Cynthia Skow, (415) 552-5378; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167