Thursday, March 22, 2012

Udall Pushes to Curb Rising Gas Prices

In Letter to State Department & USTR, Udall Urges Economic & Diplomatic Efforts to Stabilize Oil Markets

Concerned about rising gasoline prices that are hitting Colorado communities hard, Mark Udall asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk to further explore practical solutions to protect American families, companies and jobs from rising gasoline and energy prices. In two separate letters, Udall advocated for the State Department and USTR to explore existing economic and diplomatic opportunities to improve global oil market stability and to advocate for free and competitive energy trade. Udall believes minimizing our exposure to volatile crude oil prices is an important long-term step to help keep gas and commodity prices down for Coloradans.

"It is in America 's interest to promote free and open trade of petroleum and energy products. Energy markets must be driven by transparent rule-making and unhindered access - which are critical for our economic well-being. As gasoline prices go up, the impact reverberates through our entire economy," Udall wrote in the letters. "I strongly believe that we need improved mechanisms for global energy trade to discourage collusion, fraud, and manipulation and to incentivize transparent, competitive, and efficient global energy trade."

Last year, Udall wrote to both officials asking them to investigate trade issues that contribute to volatile spikes in oil - and thus gasoline - prices, including global manipulation, collusion and price distortion. He also joined Senate colleagues in urging the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to ratchet up their efforts at preventing overspeculation in domestic oil trading. Using his positions on the Senate Energy, Armed Services and Intelligence committees, Udall is working with his colleagues and the administration to think more strategically about using economic and diplomatic tools to help promote stability in oil-producing markets and maintain fair gas prices here at home.

"With the rise in energy demand in emerging economies and the developing world, it becomes even more critical that the United States fights for fair and competitive energy prices - to help these countries sustain economic growth and provide electricity to their people but also to ensure sufficient and uninterrupted oil supply for Americans," Udall concluded, pointing to existing international organizations like the World Trade Organization that can help in this effort.

To read the letter to Secretary Clinton on Scribd, click here; for the letter to Ambassador Kirk, here.