Cornyn Calls on Congress to Address Rising Gas Prices

Senator John Cornyn
As the summer driving season approaches, U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas is calling for bipartisan action in Congress to address the rising cost of gasoline. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports.

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Senator Cornyn told reporters at the busy Fuel Depot gas station and convenience store on White Oak that Congress needs to pass measures to increase domestic energy supplies. The senator says regulatory impediments that block construction of new refineries need to be removed.

"Some of the people who complain most mightily about gas prices--I'm thinking about some of my friends who serve the Senate in New York--they don't want any new refineries built in their state. They don't want any refineries built in their backyard, and so as a result, no refineries get built. Senator Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma is has suggested that we open up some closed military bases that have been shuttered as part of the Base Realignment and Closing Commission for development of new refineries. To me, that's a practical solution to this kind of problem."

Beyond that, Senator Cornyn says alternative energy sources such as nuclear power need to be encouraged.

"For example, France--not a country I would usually hold up as a model--generates 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. In the United States, it's only about 20 percent. And we need to continue to do research into things like clean-burning coal technology."

The senator says areas currently closed to oil and gas exploration should be opened.

"Anwar, everytime we debate whether or not to open up this small little footprint in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that can be developed in an environmentally-responsible way, politics seems to overwhelm that argument."

Minutes before Senator Cornyn began his news conference, attendees at the Fuel Depot changed the sign to increase the price of a gallon by eight cents. Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio.

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Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...