May 24, 2018

Wyden Statement on Rising Gas Prices Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on soaring gas prices ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend. Gas prices have risen more than 25 percent since Trump took office, hitting nearly $3 a gallon on average nationwide.

“Since Trump has taken the wheel, he’s driven gas prices in one direction – straight up,” Wyden said. “Seven of the largest U.S. oil companies announced $13 billion in stock buybacks after Trump signed his tax bill into law. These benefits enrich CEOs and shareholders worldwide, not working Americans. Any tax benefit some families might have seen from Trump’s law have been wiped clean by the rising cost of gas.

“The president’s reckless decision to break our deal with Iran has only added to the spike in oil prices, and created massive uncertainty in oil markets that translates to more pain at the pump for drivers. The president needs to stop lobbying for payoffs to Big Oil executives and focus on helping regular Americans – starting by urging the OPEC oil cartel to stop inflating gas prices.”

Earlier this week, the Senate Finance Committee released a report outlining the breaks Big Oil companies are poised to rake in under Trump’s tax law.

Wyden also joined his colleagues to introduce legislation this week to ban exports of American oil while we are still importing oil from OPEC and other unfriendly powers.

In 2013, Wyden sent a letter to former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as then-Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman urging Moniz to take regulatory action to prevent regional-specific shutdowns of U.S. refineries. At that time, gas prices had risen to more than $4 a gallon in the Midwest.  

Wyden is Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.