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Congressional Record [.PDF]
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, October 6, 2005
2005 Ron Paul 99:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Affordable Gas Price Act. This legislation reduces gas prices by reforming government policies that artificially inflate the price of gas. As I need not remind my colleagues, the American people have been hard hit in recent months by skyrocketing gas prices. In some parts of the country, gas prices have risen to as much as $4 per gallon.
2005 Ron Paul 99:2
This increase in the price of gas threatens our already fragile economy and diminishes the quality of life for all Americans. One industry that is particularly hard hit is the trucking industry. The effects of high gas prices on the trucking industry will be reflected in increased costs for numerous consumer goods, thus further harming American consumers.
2005 Ron Paul 99:3
Unfortunately, many proposals to address the problem of higher energy prices involve increasing government interference in the market through policies such as price controls. These big government solutions will, at best, prove ineffective and, at worst, bring back the fuel shortages and gas lines of the seventies.
2005 Ron Paul 99:4
Instead of expanding government, Congress should repeal Federal laws and policies that raise the price of gas, either directly through taxes or indirectly through regulations that discourage the development of new fuel sources. This is why my legislation repeals the Federal moratorium on offshore drilling and allows oil exploration in the ANWR reserve in Alaska. My bill also ensures that the National Environmental Policy Acts environmental impact statement requirement will no longer be used as a tool to force refiners to waste valuable time and capital on nuisance litigation. The Affordable Gas Price Act also provides tax incentives to encourage investment in new refineries.
2005 Ron Paul 99:5
Federal fuel taxes are a major part of gasolines cost. The Affordable Gas Price Act suspends the Federal gasoline tax any time the average gas prices exceeds $3 per gallon. During the suspension, the Federal Government will have a legal responsibility to ensure the Federal highway trust fund remains funded. My bill also raises the amount of mileage reimbursement not subject to taxes, and, during times of high oil prices, provides the same mileage reimbursement benefit to charity and medical organizations as provided to businesses.
2005 Ron Paul 99:6
Misguided and outdated trade policies are also artificially raising the price of gas. For instance, even though Russia and Kazakhstan allow their citizens the right and opportunity to emigrate, they are still subject to Jackson- Vanik sanctions, even though Jackson-Vanik was a reaction to the Soviet Unions highly restrictive emigration policy. Eliminating Jackson- Vaniks threat of trade-restricting sanctions would increase the United States access to oil supplies from non-Arab countries. Thus, my bill terminates the application of title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 to Russia and Kazakhstan, allowing Americans to enjoy the benefits of free trade with these oil-producing nations.
2005 Ron Paul 99:7
Finally, the Affordable Gas Price Act creates a Federal study on how the abandonment of the gold standard and the adoption of freely floating currencies are affecting the price of oil. It is no coincidence that oil prices first became an issue shortly after President Nixon unilaterally severed the dollars last connection to gold. The system of fiat money makes consumers vulnerable to inflation and to constant fluctuations in the prices of essential goods such as oil.
2005 Ron Paul 99:8
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the Affordable Gas Price Act and end government policies that increase the cost of gasoline.