Demands for action on fuel prices gain momentum

| 4/7/2008

Record-high diesel fuel prices are not going unnoticed around the country.

In Arkansas, four House members from Arkansas have called for congressional hearings on the cost of diesel fuel. The written request was sent to the top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 3.

“As businesses across the country are forced to absorb the cost of surging diesel prices, it can be expected that the burden will ultimately fall on the consumer,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is imperative that Congress examine the ripple effects caused by record-high diesel fuel prices.”

In Vermont, the state Senate has called on the state’s attorney general to begin a criminal investigation of major oil companies to determine whether or not any price-fixing or other type of consumer fraud has occurred. The Associated Press reported that the senators put their proposal in the form of a joint House-Senate resolution, which passed the Senate by a vote of 30 to zero.

In Charleston, WV, more than 60 truckers, including coal trucks, lumber haulers and tow trucks, staged a rally on the Capitol steps on Friday, April 4. Gov. Joe Manchin was away from his office at the time of the rally, but The AP reported he did speak with several of the crowd leaders by phone before the rally broke up. In a statement released by the governor, he said he would ask President Bush to release some oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, though it would serve as a “short-term bandage.”

At the Port of Savannah in Savannah, GA, as many as 300 truckers participated in a shutdown at the port on Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4. One port official admitted that business was down by as much as 50 percent on Thursday, and one trucker, who participated in the shutdown, said the port was desolate again on Friday.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer