09/19/13 Coming off another summer of high gas prices, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) teamed up with Congressman Lee Terry (NE-02) to reintroduce the Gas Accessibility and Stabilization (GAS) Act (H.R.2823) in the House of Representatives.
“When I speak with Hoosiers at home, I constantly hear from concerned moms and dads about high prices at the pump,” said Walorski. “It is unfair for hardworking families to constantly worry about unpredictable spikes each time they pull into the gas station. This commonsense legislation will help stabilize gas prices by extending flexibility and waiving onerous mandates contributing to high fuel prices.”
The GAS Act would help lower gas prices by expanding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to waive fuel mandates. Currently, the EPA requires different blends of gasoline to be sold in different parts of the country, which can complicate the supply chain and drive up prices when fuel is in short supply–which is exactly what happened in Indiana this summer.
“We continue to operate in an environment in which the fuel required in one market may not satisfy the requirement set by the EPA in another market,” said Rep. Terry. “EPA fuel standards are different across the country. If our fuel supplies are disrupted from a natural disaster or simple equipment failure, consumers can and usually do face higher prices at the pump.”
Expanding the EPA’s waiver authority will allow retailers to use whatever fuel they have on hand during periods of supply disruption, reducing gas price spikes and protecting consumers’ wallets. If the EPA fails to respond to a community’s waiver request within three days, the waiver would be automatically granted.
“This summer Indiana hit a record high average price, with some motorists paying over $4 dollars per gallon. It is time for Congress to proactively address fuel prices to ease pain at the pump and move our country toward energy independence, and I am pleased to work with Rep. Terry on this important initiative,” said Walorski.
The GAS Act would also require the EPA and Department of Energy to conduct a study of the long-term impact EPA’s varied fuel blend requirements will have on gas prices, supply, and reliability. An identical version of the GAS Act was introduced in the Senate last July, supported by Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).