"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 SchumerElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal 78 lawmakers vote to sustain Obama veto MORE (N.Y.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyOvernight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform No GOP leaders attending Shimon Peres funeral Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP MORE (Pa.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOvernight Defense: US attempted hostage rescue in Afghanistan | Defense hawks brace for spending fight | Trump slams 'lies' about Iraq war stance Senators want military separation policy to address trauma-related behavior Senate Dems reignite fight for hearing on SCOTUS nominee MORE (Minn.) and Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuLouisiana needs Caroline Fayard as its new senator La. Senate contender books seven-figure ad buy Crowded field muddies polling in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.). Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClinton critiques Sanders fans in leaked audio Ben & Jerry's co-founder declined to endorse Clinton: report Trump defends his 3 a.m. tweetstorm 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.