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Gas Prices and Profits Reach All-Time High, Musgrave Complicit - 7/24/2006

For Immediate Release: July 24, 2006

Contact: James Thompson
(970) 222-6397


Musgrave does the bidding of oil and gas special interests that contribute thousands to her campaign.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Gasoline prices reached an all-time-high national average of more than $3.01 per gallon last weekend, hurting working families across America while oil and gas special interests rake in record profits. Marilyn Musgrave is also profiting from consumers’ pain, said State Rep. Angie Paccione, Musgrave’s opponent in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District.

The top five oil and gas companies reportedly are expected to announce this week more than $30 billion in profits for this quarter. The oil and gas special interests spend millions of dollars in oil money to grease the wheels in Congress, including more than $56,000 that has gone to Musgrave.

In return, Musgrave and other members of Congress who are in the pocket of special interests continually vote for policies that sustain high gasoline prices and record profits.

Paccione said that by voting to block efforts to stop price gouging and voting for billions in subsidies for oil and gas special interests, Musgrave has broken her promise in her 2005 Congressional “Acheivement” Report to work for “lower gas prices for all Americans.”

“At the pump we’re seeing the direct result of policies supported by special interests and by politicians like Marilyn Musgrave,” Paccione said. “Once again, she didn’t keep her word, and she’s taking piles of special interest money for her campaign, money that came from our wallets.”

Among the most egregious of Musgrave’s votes is her “no” vote in May on a popular bill against price gouging by oil companies. Musgrave was one of 34 Republicans who voted against the American consumer and on the side of special interests (H.R. 5253, 5/3/2006). Just as outrageous, Musgrave voted for more than $16 billion in giveaways to oil and gas companies when they were collecting record profits (HR 6, 7/28/05, and HR 3893, 10/7/05; see other votes below).

“She can’t use excuses about ‘market forces’ to get out of this one,” Paccione said. “Her oil money and her votes say it all. Her hypocrisy and her ties to special interests are bad for Americans, and they’re bad for her constituents.”

Paccione added, “We need principled leadership for a change. Unlike Marilyn, I won’t sell my vote to the special interests.”

Oil and Gas Special Interest Influence

$141 million was donated to the Republican Party by the energy industry since 1994.
Marilyn Musgrave has accepted $56,000 from Big Oil PACs, including $17,000 from Exxon [].

Musgrave’s Special Interest Votes

Musgrave voted for a $14.5 billion giveaway to the oil and gas industry [HR 6, 7/28/05].
She voted for a $2 billion giveaway to the oil refinery industry [HR 3893, 10/7/05].
She blocked efforts three times this past year to crack down on price gouging [HR6, 4/20/2005; HR 3402, 9/28/05; and HR 5253, 5/3/06].

Special Interests Win, Consumer Loses

Gas prices are at an all-time high of more than $3.01 per gallon.
Gas prices have doubled since Musgrave took office in 2002.
The top five oil and gas companies reported record profits for the past quarter, and they are expected this week to post more than $30 billion in profits. 

Additional Background Information

Musgrave Passed an Energy Bill that Gave Billions to Oil, Gas and Nuclear Special Interests. This bill did nothing to lower gas prices. The vote was for the energy conference report that exempts oil and gas industries from some clean-water laws, streamlines permits for oil wells and power lines on public lands, and helps the hydropower industry appeal environmental restrictions. It also includes an estimated $85 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks for most forms of energy -- including oil and gas, “clean coal,” ethanol, electricity, and solar and wind power. [Washington Post, 7/30/05; HR6 7/28/2005 Vote# 445]   Link to the Roll Call Vote:

Musgrave Voted Against Alternative Energy Plan that Would Give Consumers Immediate Relief at the Gas Pump. The vote was against an alternative energy plan that would bring immediate relief to consumers at the pump, increase the nation’s investment into renewable fuels and energy efficiency and crack down on price gouging. It also directed the Federal Trade Commission and Attorney General to exercise vigorous oversight over the oil markets to protect the American people from price gouging and unfair practices at the gasoline pump. Furthermore, the alternative would extend for five years the tax credit that provides incentives for investments in solar, wind, geothermal and biomass technologies and provide several tax incentives for energy efficiency. Finally, the measure would prohibit federal or state permits or leases for new oil or gas drilling in or under the Great Lakes. The measure was rejected, 170-259. [HR6 4/20/2005 Vote# 118] 
Link to the Roll Call Vote:

Musgrave Voted Against Cracking Down on Price Gouging. The vote was against a proposal to make it illegal during an energy crisis to sell crude oil, gasoline or petroleum at unconscionable levels. The legislation would also provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with new authority to investigate and prosecute those that engage in this “predatory pricing”, from oil companies on down to local gas stations, with an emphasis on those who profit most. This includes the gouging of gasoline, home heating oil, propane or natural gas. Some fines collected from such offences will go towards the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which aids consumers in paying their heating bills. [HR 3402 9/28/2005 Vote# 500]    
Link to the Roll Call Vote:

Marilyn Opposed Cracking Down on Price Gouging & Lowering Gas Prices. The vote was against a measure to provide the Federal Trade Commission with new authority to investigate and prosecute those that engage in predatory pricing, from oil companies on down to gas stations, with the emphasis on those who profit the most. This includes price gouging of gasoline and natural gas, home heating oil and propane. The measure increased funding for the low-income home energy assistance program through fines from price-gouging companies and created a strategic refinery reserve with capacity equal to 5 percent of the total United States demand for gasoline, home heating oil and other refined petroleum products. [Reps. Stupak & Boucher, Remarks, Congressional Record, pg H8780, 10/7/05; HR3893 10/7/2005 Vote# 517]  
Link to the Roll Call Vote:



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