Rep. John Lewis Protests Price Gouging at the Pump
Today Congressman Lewis joined forces with other concerned citizens and activists in the Atlanta Metropolitan area to protest price gouging at the gas pump. Helen Butler of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda, Richard Ray President of the Georgia AFL-CIO; Charlie Flemming of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council; Patty Durand of the Sierra Club; and Lee Biola of Citizens for Progressive Transit met in front of the Exxon Mobil station at Ponce de Leon and Moreland Avenues in the 5th Congressional District to register their outrage at soaring pump prices in light of record oil company profits. Congressman Lewis made this statement:
We come here today to send a message. Americans are being ripped off at the gas pump. We will not be still. We will not be quiet. I believe government is supposed to serve and care for the people of this nation and not leave the citizens to fend for themselves. The Administration we have in Washington today is too beholding to big oil to look out for working families.
The Secretary of State is a former member of the board of directors of Chevron. The Secretary of Commerce still has investments in big oil. Vice President Cheney is more than knee-deep in big oil as a former head of Halliburton. He allowed the oil interests to help write the energy policy of this nation. And the President has close ties to and probably still owns stock in big oil. Too many friends of the Administration are making profits on the backs of the American people, so they can't help families in this crisis. This is like the fox guarding the chicken coop.
On Meet the Press on yesterday, the Secretary of Energy showed no concern for the devastating affect these outrageous prices are having on American families. He justified these price hikes as market adjustments and never discussed any action he plans to take to help the people of this nation. Before the first congressional investigation is even held, he had the audacity to say that there is no price gouging.
It is not fair, it is not right, it is not just that today some Americans have to choose to fill their prescriptions or fill up their cars with gas. This crisis is having a rippling affect. It affects taxi cabs, hotels, restaurants, school systems, and local government. All across the board, people are struggling.
Parents are paying more than $100 a week in gas so they can get their children to school, buy groceries, and take care of all the business it takes to raise a family.
Where is the leadership in Washington? Where is the leadership in the Congress? Why won't someone speak up on behalf of working families?
In another period, not too long ago, in 1962, President Kennedy intervened when steel prices got to high. Why can't this Administration take some action on behalf of the American people? What's good for Exxon Mobil is not necessarily good for America.
We need leadership in Washington that believes in serving the people and not just serving themselves and their friends in big oil. We need a Congress and a president that will defend the American people from corporate greed. The people of this nation have to take our country back.
We have to take our government out of the hands of corporate America. It is a shame and a disgrace that the American consumers are being ripped off at the pump. We can do better. We can do much better. I urge the people of this district to write letters to Congress and make calls to the White House to make their voices heard in this crisis. Thank you.