Congresswoman Lois Capps voted for a failed bill to ease rising gas prices by drawing on the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Known as the Consumer Energy Supply Act of 2008, HR6578 would have allowed for the release of sweet, light crude to be replaced by heavier crude eventually. The bill specified that the reserve, meant to be drawn upon in case of national emergency, would not drop below 90% capacity. It made “common sense” as the national economy has reached a crisis point, said Capps, in a press release explaining her support. As opposed to President Bush’s plan to explore new coastal drilling possibilities – which would have no effect in the short-run – this legislation would generate almost immediate results, she said, citing similar steps taken by previous presidents which “brought down oil prices by between 9% and 33% within weeks. . . . While my constituents across the South and Central Coast are finding it hard to afford to go to the grocery store, take their kids to soccer and even get to work, the big oil companies are once again reporting record profits.” Every Democrat present at voting time voted in favor of the bill, but the final tally of 268 to 157 failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed for it to pass.


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