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It’d probably be more effective in addressing the price of oil than this, introduced yesterday


House Concurrent Resolution No. 53




           WHEREAS, the average price of gasoline has risen to nearly $4.00 a gallon and are projected to remain there or go even higher as the summer months approach; and

           WHEREAS, numerous components make up the price of gasoline, including the cost of crude oil (45%), federal and state taxes (23%), refining costs (22%), and marketing and distribution costs (10%). These components are affected by many factors; and

           WHEREAS, the three main factors that contribute to changes in the price of gasoline are changes in crude oil prices, the transparency of energy markets, and regulations that affect the price of gasoline; and

           WHEREAS, there is very little government can do about crude oil prices and transparency. Crude oil prices are affected by world supply and demand, which continues to grow and most rapidly in Asia. Transparency produces highly efficient markets, but it also increases volatility. Any reduction in transparency would offset efficiency; and

           WHEREAS, while states have limited authority and options available to attempt to reverse the soaring fuel prices and alleviate the growing financial burden on its citizenry, the federal government is able to ease the pressure on prices and reduce volatility by reducing its own interference in the market – most directly by the way of taxes and regulation; and

           WHEREAS, federal regulations have contributed significantly to the high price, high volatility environment facing consumers today. These regulations have led to the proliferation of numerous fuel blends – known as “boutique fuels” – which in turn have increased refining and distribution costs; and

           WHEREAS, in addition to addressing the boutique fuel problem, Congress and the Administration should reform other Clean Air Act regulations that have resulted in the halt of construction of new refinery capacity and offshore drilling. More production and refinery capacity is needed to ease the pressure on the production system; and

           WHEREAS, federal regulations are also affecting gasoline imports because foreign suppliers are unable to keep up with the increasing complexity of federal gasoline requirements. Volatility in the Middle East also threatens our second largest supplier of oil – OPEC; and

           WHEREAS, while changes in federal regulations and policies are needed as a long-term solution, the federal government is able to impact gasoline prices in the short-term as well; and

           WHEREAS, in the short-term, the Environmental Protection Agency should temporarily suspend clean-fuel requirements and reduce the number of fuel specifications across the country by offering a limited menu of fuel choices that states and localities can choose from; and

           WHEREAS, with crude oil costs being the single largest component in the cost of gasoline, the only real impact on crude oil prices is the threat of competition; and

           WHEREAS, the leading supplier of oil to the United States market is Canada, with Mexico as the third leading supplier. There are enough oil and gas resources under the ground of those two reliable neighbors to supply the United States at current consumption levels for the next 100 years; and

           WHEREAS, by lowering any remaining cross-border barriers to energy imports and by increasing the capacity of cross-border distribution systems, Congress can lower the cost to both Canada and Mexico of shipping oil to the United States, thereby inducing them to bring more supply on line; and

           WHEREAS, in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, Congress and the Administration should find ways to facilitate the building of new refineries, and an increase in production by permitting the uncapping of existing wells and the drilling of new wells; and

           WHEREAS, Congress and the Administration should strive to maintain a well-functioning gasoline market for the good of the economy, without interfering in the marketplace. Changes in federal regulation, introduction of fuel flexibility, removing impediments to importation of fuel from Canada and Mexico, increasing refinery capacity and pipeline construction, as well as greater domestic oil exploration and opening additional areas of production would begin to ease the rising cost of fuels and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil:

           NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby strongly urge the United States Congress and the Obama Administration to immediately seek long-term and short-term solutions to the rapidly rising fuel costs to ease the financial burden on its citizens and prevent a second recession; and

           BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for President Barack Obama; Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Congress; and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.

It’s comforting to know that deregulation would do wonders for safety, production, and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jobs bill anyone?