Aaron Landry's recap:
1. Making commodities trading more transparent, thereby working to eliminate the “spectulator tax.” He referenced research and and reports that confirmed that speculation has added as much as $40 per barrel to the price of oil.
2. Increasing supply by releasing 50 millions of barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Franken referenced instances in 2000 and 2005 where Clinton and Bush both used the SPR to stabilize markets.
3. Expanding the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). He noted that WAP has reduced heating bills as overall household energy costs significantly.
If you need reminding, Republicans in Congress--including our very own Norm Coleman--blocked three Democratic bills attempting to help Americans afford $4 a gallon gasoline, all to push offshore drilling rather than innovation.
It's a political issue and an environmental issue, of course--but Republicans in Congress should keep in mind that the price of gas is also a social justice issue. It has the biggest effect on the lowest-income Americans, especially those outside major metropolitan areas with reliable public transit.
If you can't afford to drive to work, you can't work. If you can't afford both food and gas, you're in a world of trouble.
Franken's plan makes an immediate change, the kind these working people need. Republicans want more drilling, and more oil, and that's it. Democrats like Franken, who's also in favor of renewable energy innovation, know that's an unsustainable solution.