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Granholm Says Stabenow, Stupak Proposals to Lower Gas Prices Put Focus Where it Belongs - on Oil Profits

April 27, 2006

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today asked Michigan’s federal elected officials to support the efforts of their colleagues to help Michigan families cope with the high price of gas.  In a letter to the 17-member delegation, Granholm cited the tremendous response to her online petition, launched last Friday, as evidence that Michigan citizens want quick federal action.

“In the past five days, more than 156,000 of our fellow citizens have joined me in signing an online petition calling on President Bush to work with Congress to take immediate action on skyrocketing gasoline prices,” Granholm wrote.  “With Exxon-Mobil reporting another $8.4 billion in profits this morning, it is clear that legislation is needed to provide gas price relief to Michigan families.  I urge you to support two bills offered by your Michigan delegation colleagues and ask that you contact congressional leaders to schedule these bills for a vote so the President can truly fulfill his gas price relief strategy.”

In the letter, Granholm specifically called for support of Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Oil Company Accountability Act that would provide an immediate, one-time $500 tax rebate to Michigan families.  This rebate would come as a result of rolling back several tax benefits for the largest oil companies, consistent with the President’s call earlier this week for scaling back tax subsidies at a time of continuous record-breaking industry profits.

“Everyone is frustrated at paying $3.00 per gallon at the pumps,” said Granholm.  “Senator Stabenow’s bill, unlike so many other proposals being talked about, targets the real source of that frustration – big oil and their profits.  By rolling back some of big oil’s $10 billion in tax breaks, we can provide real relief to struggling families.”

The Governor also encouraged support of Congressman Bart Stupak’s Federal Response to Energy Emergencies Act that provides new tools for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prosecute price gougers, crack down on market manipulation, and better enforce existing federal and state consumer protections. 

Granholm also joined 15 other governors yesterday in sending a letter to President Bush calling for action.  The governors called on the President to restrain soaring corporate oil profits, to roll back more of the $10 billion in oil industry tax breaks to promote alternative energy development, and to strengthen anti-gouging laws so consumers are better protected.

 “Investigating price gouging, promoting alternative energy, rolling back oil and gas subsidies, and halting deposits into the strategic oil reserve are sound ideas that we have been promoting for years,” the governors wrote.  “But talking about solutions is easy; having the will to make real change is much more difficult ... We therefore urge you to follow up your announcement with immediate actions demonstrating your resolve on this issue.”