Southern Indiana congressman talks about his plan to lower gas prices - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Southern Indiana congressman talks about his plan to lower gas prices

Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN 9th) Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN 9th)

By Carrie Weil - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - This week WAVE 3 has investigated the disparity in Louisville gas prices compared to the rest of the Commonwealth. As we get results, folks on the other side of the river are just as fed up with rising prices. Indiana 9th District congressman Baron Hill says he has a plan to lower prices. WAVE 3's Carrie Weil questioned him about it.

"If it was strictly about supply and demand, these economists I've talked to tell me the price of gasoline should be around 2.75 cents a gallon," says Hill.
    
Hill knows something stinks when it comes to $4.00 gas prices. He will head back to Washington next week pushing a bill he says could lower prices by 20, even 50%. Hill says the change starts with opening the door on some back room business.

"But because these speculators on the commodities exchange are trading paper instead of oil - the futures contracts - they're artificially driving that price up," Hill says.

The bill also calls for more oversight and action from the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department and suspending shipments to the petroleum reserve.  

Along with Republicans, this one Democrat thinks more drilling is part of the answer, but the question is where? Hill says there are 68 million acres leased by oil companies in the U.S. and along the continental shelf that are not being drilled.

"We passed a bill last week that would tell the oil companies they if you don't drill on these lands that they've leased they you're going to lose you lease," says Hill.

When we pressed Hill for time frame for action on his proposal, he replied, "Unfortunately the legislative process moves slowly."

In the meantime, southern Indiana's business watchdog group says its shipping companies are hurting. Many are paying the gas bill and forgoing improvements that could make them more competitive.

"For instance, you start not doing your employee training you start not making capitol expense that you should be making to help increase the productivity, buy new equipment, buy new tooling," says Michael Dalby of One Southern Indiana.

Congressman Hill proposed his bill 10 days ago. He is working on getting co-sponsors and getting it to a hearing. WAVE 3 will track the progress of it and keep you updated.

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