"Your administration has shown a callous indifference to the pain these high prices are inflicting on American families," the senators wrote in a letter sent to Bush Thursday. "At the same time, your administration has coddled Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations whose actions have contributed to this crisis."
The senators hope that an increase in the oil supply will lead to lower energy costs. The letter was sent as the price of a barrel of crude oil reached more than $117. The average cost of a gallon of regular gas in the United States is more than $3.50.
The Democratic senators who signed the letter include Charles SchumerCharles SchumerOvernight Healthcare: House, Senate on collision course over Zika funding Ryan goes all-in on Puerto Rico Cruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' MORE (N.Y.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyGOP chairman sees funding deal soon on medical cures bill Overnight Healthcare: House takes first step on opioids bills Overnight Regulation: FDA e-cig rule hit with first lawsuit MORE (Pa.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Lobbying World Dem senators: Slash executive pay at pension plans seeking benefit cuts MORE (Minn.) and Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (La.). Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Finance: GOP makes its case for impeaching IRS chief | Clinton hits Trump over housing crash remarks | Ryan's big Puerto Rico win Ex-DNC official: I’m ‘neutral’ in Wasserman Schultz’s race Puerto Rico's delegate to Congress tells debt bill critics to 'get real' MORE (Vt.) also signed it.
In the letter, they ask the president why he hasn't asked three OPEC countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, to increase oil production when all three countries have entered into arms deals with the United States.
The senators' full letter is after the jump.
April 24, 2008
George W. Bush
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
American consumers are facing unprecedented gasoline prices, with the national average price of a gallon of regular gas at $3.56, roughly $.70 higher than last year and more than double since 2001. The price of diesel fuel has increased even more rapidly - reaching a record $4.22 a gallon, over a dollar more expensive than 2007. The price of diesel fuel not only impacts truck drivers, but it pushes food and transportation costs higher for consumers too. The combined effect of these energy prices drags down our economy, which can serve to extend and deepen the recession even further.
Your administration has shown a callous indifference to the pain these high prices are inflicting on American families. At the same time, your administration has coddled Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations whose actions have contributed to this crisis.
We are writing to urge you to demand that OPEC members increase their oil production because they are currently producing well under their capacity. As you know, the first four months of 2008 witnessed extraordinary and historic increases in the cost of crude oil, which has impacted not only the costs of gasoline and heating oil in the U.S., but food and commodity prices as well. Despite skyrocketing energy costs, OPEC members claimed that they saw no reason to increase production quotas. We respectfully urge you to call upon Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other OPEC members to increase their oil production immediately.