Weekly Democratic Address
May 25, 2018
Hello, I’m Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and as we head into Memorial Day weekend and the summer-driving season, American families are facing gas prices that are up nearly 25 percent since President Donald Trump took office. And that means that American consumers are paying $350 more per year to fill up their gas tank since President Trump took office, and that is a result of the misguided policies of President Trump and the Republicans in Congress.
President Trump’s incoherent foreign policy is contributing to rising oil prices by heightening tensions in the Middle East and other hotspots around the world.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran deal is now further roiling oil markets, and because of these actions, gas prices could keep going further up this summer, and the American family is going to pay the price for this “Trump oil risk tax.”
For the poorest Americans, this Trump oil risk tax will completely wipe out any tax benefits from the recently-passed GOP tax plan, and the lowest 40 percent of earners are projected to get roughly $200 this year from the GOP tax plan but that is going to be dwarfed by the $350 more that they will be paying for gas thanks to President Trump’s policies.
Donald Trump loves having his name on things – towers, steaks, universities. Now his name is associated with higher gas prices for all American families.
But while this consumer is going to get tipped upside down at the pump, Big Oil is going to benefit from $25 billion dollars in tax cuts this year alone from the tax plan. And that is on top of the $7 to 8 billion dollars a year that they already get in permanent tax breaks and free drilling loopholes.
And how are the oil companies spending this GOP windfall? Well, Big Oil is buying back tens of billions of dollars’ worth of their own stock – pumping up their own profits rather than helping consumers at the pump.
Exporting U.S. oil is only a further giveaway to Big Oil, which is projected to earn $500 billion in new revenue over the next 20 years because they can charge more for their oil overseas than they can charge here in the United Sates, and instead of keeping our oil here to benefit American families and ensure our energy security, we are sending it overseas to benefit foreign nations like China.
We are now exporting more than 2.5 million barrels a day of American crude oil – even while we still import that exact same amount from OPEC and the Middle East. That makes no sense.
And the response to these U.S. oil exports, OPEC, Russia, and other nations are colluding to simply cut their production by an equal amount to keep their prices high.
But President Trump is doing nothing to hold OPEC and Russia accountable. Senate Democrats are calling on him to immediately begin negotiations with this cartel to put an end to their manipulation of oil markets that is harming American consumers.
And finally, at the behest of Big Oil, Big Auto, the Trump administration wants to roll back our historic fuel economy emissions standards of 54.5 miles per gallon.
These standards are projected to save American consumers more than $1 trillion and reduce our reliance on foreign oil, but President Trump wants to put us in reverse and undermine this money-saving program for American families.
President Trump says his agenda is America First. But the policies that he and Republicans are pursuing are putting Big Oil, OPEC, Russia, and China first, and the American consumer last.
It is time for that to end.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you, and God bless America.