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Monday, April 24, 2006

Gas Prices Too High?

The following was paid for by John Brodigan for a Better America

I, like you, have noticed gas prices going up. I, also like you, have also read a number of chain letters and MySpace bulletins containing idiotic idea after idiotic idea about how we can "fight the power" by boycotting big oil, or only shopping at certain gas stations on one day and not shopping there on certain days, and so on.

Now, maybe I'm too cynical for my own good, but I think that's all a bunch of poppy cock. The only way to get the oil companies to lower prices is to threaten them with legislation. That's where Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) comes in, who recently supported a windfall profits tax, along with measures to stem concentration of market power among a few select oil companies, to offer relief to consumers hurting at the gas pump (click here for more).

It's true that Republicans are usually the last to tax rich business tycoons, but even my more liberal friends consider Sen. Specter to be one of the last voices of reason and rationality in Washington. When you consider that he's also the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and, like it or not (and I don't care if you do or don't), the Republicans still control everything (for the time being at least), Specter could very well get something done if he gets enough support. He already sponsored bi-partisan legislation on Monday to reduce fuel costs.

So instead of sending out another e-mail that your friends are going to forward to their friends without even reading it themselves in the first place, write to your local congressman (you'll have to look that up yourselves), or write to Senator Spector and let him know you're behind him, or even how the higher gas prices are starting to effect you and your family (especially if they go up to $4 or $5 a gallon, as some a predicting).

Sen. Arlen Specter
711 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-4254
(Click here for e-mail)

If you roll with the Dems and would prefer to get behind one of your own, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have also been vocal against the rumored "price gouging." See how to get in touch with them.

And as a side note, I'm sure there are more than a few of you who think writing to your elected official is as big of a waste of time as hitting the forward button on your e-mail. All I can say is that I felt the same way. Then my mother wrote to our local Congressman when the insurance companies were harassing her for money we didn't owe them. We got a letter back that he (or someone from his office) was going to look into it. She stopped getting harassed.

Democracy does work once in a while.


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