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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Business > Guest Voz: Congresswoman Solis demands oil companies stop withholding oil from the market

Guest Voz: Congresswoman Solis demands oil companies stop withholding oil from the market

LatinaLista — Democratic Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis represents California’s 32nd Congressional District. The Congresswoman has been instrumental in creating legislation that has addressed issues important to Latinos: H.R. 359 – Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act of 2007, H.R. 468, Communities of Color Teen Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2007, H.R. 1103 – Environmental Justice Act of 2007 and the H.R. 542 – Culturally Competent Veteran Care Act, to name a few.
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Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis
In an exclusive post for Latina Lista readers, Congresswoman Solis draws the line for accountability in the nation’s oil woes and shares her hopes in how the country can turn around pro-oil policies and help all families in the process.

Eight years of pro-oil company policies such as those advocated by President Bush, Senator McCain and their colleagues have left hard-working families paying record prices at the pump while oil companies make record profits. Rather than protect consumers, Republicans continue to push for more drilling — a failed policy — and against efforts to protect consumers from price gouging.
Pro-oil company policies have left our families struggling. Latino families are among the hardest hit by the economic downturn. A recent nationwide survey commissioned by AARP clearly showed that Latino families are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the lack of economic security, the housing crisis, and the lack of health care.
Eighty percent of Latinos surveyed are struggling to pay for daily necessities such as food, gas and medicine. A November 2007 study by the Public Policy Institute of California notes that 83 percent of Latinos surveyed said gas prices have caused them financial hardship as opposed to 67 percent of Blacks, 62 percent of Asians and 54 percent of whites surveyed. Conditions have only worsened as the cost of oil has broken record prices in 2008.
Tax breaks and secret meetings are just the tip of the pro-oil company policies.
The fact is that oil companies currently possess more than 10,000 permits to drill in 68 million acres of land and sea open to drilling. Instead of producing the oil, they are withholding this product from the market at a time when families are suffering.

We must force oil companies to produce the oil they possess or lose it. We must stop the gouging of consumers. And we must ensure that alternatives like transit are not hurt by increasing fuel prices.
I am proud that Democrats are taking steps today to help consumers. Legislation being considered today will invest $1.7 billion in transit, a critical option for families and others who are struggling. This legislation also increases the Federal cost share of grants for parking and creates a pilot program for vanpool projects in both rural and urban areas.
Transit can save the average household $6,251 each year at a time when skyrocketing fuel and food costs and a housing foreclosure crisis are straining families’ budgets. Other legislation being considered today will force oil companies to produce the oil in the leases which have already been approved or give it back so someone else can.
Democrats have enacted historic legislation to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil. Today we continue the fight for consumers and a secure energy future.
Yet the question remains: Will our Republican colleagues join us to protect consumers or continue the drill-only anti-consumer legacy of the Bush Administration?
Let’s hope they join us today – working families across the country deserve nothing less.

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Comment(7)

  • Thomas
    June 27, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Yeah ethanol is so much better just ask the starving people of the world. The dems don’t allow off shore drilling. Fine maybe china will sell us the oil under florida shores. Course they are drilling off the course of cuba. We keep sending our money out there is it a wonder the dollar is weak. We demand to use the resources here build nuclear reactors, Drill more and find other means of energy yet the dems stonewall everytime. Yet give our dollars to Africa the middle east those drug cartel run latin America countries. Yet nothing for the American people or its energy needs. The Saudis are laughing at us. As long as we don’t use our own resources we will continue to be held hostage by foreign powers. This is how Civil Wars start.

  • adriana
    June 27, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    This woman is a great advocate! I wish that more in the CHC would follow her lead.

  • El Loco
    June 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    The fact is that oil companies currently possess more than 10,000 permits to drill in 68 million acres of land and sea open to drilling. Instead of producing the oil, they are withholding this product from the market at a time when families are suffering.
    This is wrong for the same reason that drilling in ANWR is wrong: you can’t drill today and have oil on the market tomorrow. It just doesn’t work that way.
    Even if all 10,000 permit-holders went out to drill today, that oil – assuming they find enough of it to make it commercially profitable, not a certainty even at $142/bbl, it would take years before that oil makes it to the market.

  • Evelyn
    June 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    OBAMA, McCAIN AND CLINTON TO SPEAK AT LULAC CONVENTION
    Washington, D.C. – Presumptive presidential nominees Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ) will speak at the League of United Latin American Citizens during the organization’s national convention at the Washington Hilton Hotel on July 8th. Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will appear at the organization’s Presidential Banquet on Friday, July 11th. All three Senators underscore the importance candidates are placing on the Latino vote in the upcoming election.
    McCain will speak at LULAC’s Unity Luncheon at noon on July 8 in the International Ballroom of the Hilton at 1919 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Obama will speak at an “Open Dialogue with Obama” Forum on the same day at 4:30 p.m. in the International Ballroom. Senator Clinton is scheduled to address the convention’s Presidential Awards Banquet at 7 p.m. on July 11.
    The Presidential candidates Senator Obama and Senator McCain will appear before hundreds of Latino leaders from across the country, community, political and business leaders at the 79th annual convention of the nation’s oldest and largest Hispanic advocacy group. “The candidates are vigorously vying for the Latino vote,” said Rosa Rosales, LULAC National President of the 115,000-member organization. “Our voting power has been an important factor in the last decade and it is becoming more critical with each election, particularly in key battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida. At least 9.2 million Latinos will cast their votes this November.”
    LULAC, a nonpartisan civil rights organization, is participating in a nationwide voter registration drive aimed at significantly increasing the Hispanic vote in the Nov. 4 election. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, “Hispanics constitute a sizable share of the electorate in four of the six states that President Bush carried by margins of five percentage points or fewer in 2004 — New Mexico (where Hispanics make up 37% of the state’s eligible electorate); Florida (14%); Nevada (12%) and Colorado (12%). All four are expected to be closely contested once again in 2008.”
    The theme of LULAC’s convention, America’s Latino Community Center Stage, highlights the importance of Latino voters in determining the next president. “Every year the LULAC national convention draws attention to the challenges facing Latino,” said Ms. Rosales. “This year will be no exception as we focus on such issues as voter participation, education, immigration and health care reform and the need to increase Latino representation in the highest levels of government and corporate governance. We are delighted that Senator Obama, Senator Clinton and Senator McCain will be joining us as we work on these critical issues.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES JOHN MCCAIN AND BARACK OBAMA TO SPEAK AT 2008 NCLR ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO
    San Diego, CA—The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., announced today that presumptive presidential nominees Senators John McCain (R–AZ) and Barack Obama (D–IL) will speak at the 2008 NCLR Annual Conference held at the San Diego Convention Center, July 12-15. Other speakers at the Conference include San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former NCLR President and CEO Raul Yzaguirre, CEO of Freddie Mac Richard F. Syron, New York Times best-selling author Alisa Valdés-Rodríguez and internationally renowned motivational speaker Samuel Betances.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I bring this fact up because I would like to know which presidential canidate will be attending the hate rallies of the Minuteklan, Save our State, Alipac, COCC, FAIR, or any of the other hate groups I’ve left out.
    Some of you say most Americans are on your side and advocate hating Hispanic immigrants like you do.
    Having most Americans on your side and the fact that Americans voted, which of the two canidates will represent you by speaking at your rallies?
    The most popular with the majority of Americans, ahhh surly one of the canidates will be there.

  • Horace
    June 29, 2008 at 8:56 am

    “This is wrong for the same reason that drilling in ANWR is wrong: you can’t drill today and have oil on the market tomorrow. It just doesn’t work that way.”
    This is the same idiotic blather used by the Democrat decades ago. If we had drilled in our coastal sites and ANWR years ago, maybe we’d be less dependent today. We’ve got to make our decisions on energy needs well in advance, but apparently this will never be done, as we’ll only take action on measures that will give us $2.00 gasoline today. El Loco, says that should ignore all efforts that would have long term results because of our need to have instant self-gratification. He’s wrong.

  • Erica C
    June 29, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    My Latina sisters watch Crude Impact! The truth about oil! (Sundance film)
    NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51
    HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20
    GLOBAL RESEARCH Article by Marjorie Cohn
    “The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed on May 9, 2007, would place all governmental power in the hands of the President and effectively abolish the checks and balances in the Constitution.
    “If a “catastrophic emergency” – which could include a terrorist attack or a natural disaster – occurs, Bush’s new directive says: “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.”
    “What about the other two co-equal branches of government? The directive throws them a bone by speaking of a “cooperative effort” among the three branches, “coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers.” The Vice-President would help to implement the plans.
    “Comity,” however, means courtesy, and the President would decide what kind of respect for the other two branches of government would be “proper.” This Presidential Directive is a blatant power grab by Bush to institutionalize “the unitary executive.”
    “One wonders what Bush & Co. are setting up with the new Presidential Directive. What if, heaven forbid, some sort of catastrophic event were to occur just before the 2008 election (like what are the chances of a hurricane)? Bush could use this directive to suspend the election. This administration has gone to great lengths to remain in Iraq . It has built huge permanent military bases and pushed to privatize Iraq ‘s oil. Bush and Cheney may be unwilling to relinquish power to a successor administration.”
    Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her new book, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, will be published in July.
    Posted by EricaWA | June 29, 2008 8:04 PM
    There must be IMPEACHMENT FOR BUSH & CHENEY

  • El Loco
    July 1, 2008 at 9:29 am

    This is the same idiotic blather used by the Democrat decades ago. If we had drilled in our coastal sites and ANWR years ago, maybe we’d be less dependent today.
    Horace, don’t be an ignoramus. “Decades ago” whether you refer back to the ’90s or ’80s, oil was around $20/bbl. At those prices, you could have open up all the oceans of the world and the entire frozen tundra (and I’m not talking about Lambeau Field) and there would have been no drilling because there was no money in it!!!
    El Loco, says that should ignore all efforts that would have long term results because of our need to have instant self-gratification. He’s wrong.
    That’s not at all what I said because I wasn’t talking about “instant gratification.” Drilling now won’t do anything to lower our oil and gas prices anywhere in the near future. And when the ANWR oil finally becomes available “[i]t is expected that the price impact of ANWR coastal plain production might reduce world oil prices by as much as 30 to 50 cents per barrel, relative to a projected 2025 world oil price of $27 per barrel (2002 dollars) in the AEO2004 reference case.”
    That translates to about $2-$3 at current prices. And these are not my numbers. That’s from the U.S. Energy Information Agency of the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
    We can take measures today (in terms of increasing conservation, promoting energy-efficient designs and development, supporting hybrid, fuel cells, and other alternative fuel vehicles, and requiring that we reach the proposed 35 mpg CAFE standards sooner rather than later)that can reduce oil and gasoline demand quicker than we can drill and extract oil.
    Right now, the only thing we can do that will have immediate result is use less gasoline and less electricity when we can.

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