Dorgan: Little to be done about costly gas

April 30, 2011 at 11:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- At least one former U.S. Democratic senator says there is very little Congress can do to rein in gas prices.

"Every time Americans have to shell out $60 or $80 to fill their tanks, they mutter under their breaths about government and it puts pressure on Congress and the White House to do something," said North Dakota's Byron Dorgan, now co-chairman of a project on energy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

"But it's just howling at the moon. The basic laws of supply and demand haven't changed."

While Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are not trying to repeal the laws of supply and demand, they are trying to roll back prices or at least to appear to be doing so, The New York Times reported Saturday.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, suggested on a talk show that rolling back some of the tax breaks now enjoyed by oil companies might be appropriate, given their high profits. Boehner backtracked when President Obama cited him while making his own proposal for an end to $4 billion in oil company tax breaks.

Boehner now says taxing oil companies more will add to what drivers pay at the pump.

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