Gas prices have fallen about 75 cents over the past two months, leading respondents to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released today to ask: “Is this political?”
When asked, “What do you think is the main reason gas prices have gone down?” 17 percent of individuals answered the “upcoming election/political reasons,” and 13 percent answered “Bush/Republican efforts to affect election.” And according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, gasoline prices are by far the most talked about issue in America, with 75 percent of Americans talking frequently about them, more than even Iraq or the economy.
Clearly, our dependence on oil continues to be a major issue for Americans, regardless of the cause of falling prices. It is time for the federal government to listen to the calls of its citizens and develop sustainable solutions for decreasing American dependence on foreign oil.
Over the next decade, oil importation and oil consumption in the United States will only increase, and despite fluctuations in prices, supply remains tight. Right now 58 percent of oil used in the U.S. comes from foreign sources, 20 percent from the volatile Persian Gulf region.
The Center for American Progress released a plan for kicking the oil habit this year by committing to reducing oil consumption, deploying alternatives, and ensuring that big oil pays its fair share. The plan includes:
- Developing a new generation of cars: We must use current technologies and invest in new technologies that will use alternative fuels or use gas more efficiently.
- Getting biofuels to the pump: There are five million vehicles in America capable of running on cleaner, home-grown blends of ethanol and gasoline, but only 600 fueling stations that dispense this E85 fuel.
- Investing in Research: The federal budget must reflect major new investments in research, development, and deployment of new energy solutions to help reduce oil consumption and develop the next generation of alternatives.
- Stopping Unnecessary Corporate Subsidies: The government should revoke subsidy giveaways for profit-rich major oil companies and make sure they pay their fair share in royalties owed to American taxpayers for drilling on public lands and in federal waters.
Americans overwhelmingly support initiatives like these: 86 percent want the government to raise fuel efficiency standards, and 90 percent think the government should do more to support renewable fuels. It is time for the government to heed the call of the American people.
Read the Center for American Progress’ stance and solutions on this issue: