CHICAGO (CBS) — With gas prices continuing to rise, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday he wants to pull $4 billion in federal subsidies provided to big oil companies.
For years, Durbin has watched the roller coaster of gas prices.
“They go wild in February, March and April, and then start to come down; and then comes the vacation season, people getting in their cars, and then they go back up again,” Durbin said.
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The senator has co-sponsored the “Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act,” which goes before Congress this week.
Durbin said the legislation would help families save money at the pump. He also said the $4 billion in government subsidies for big oil firms should be better spent by a government that is struggling, especially when the oil industry turned a $137 billion profit in 2011.
“They don’t need it. Take the money saved, use it to invest in future energy technology that will reduce dependence on foreign oil, then make our cars and trucks more fuel efficient. And whatever’s left over, reduce the deficit with it,” he said.
In addition, the legislation would limit how much oil futures trading someone could do in a given day, a move meant to slow down the opportunity for traders to intentionally drive up oil prices, make a profit, and then leave town.