San Diego – Today the Scott Peters for Congress campaign called on Congressman Brian Bilbray to give voters the real facts about his cozy relationship with the oil and gas industry. The Congressman is holding a news conference today to ‘talk the talk’ about rising gas prices. But when it comes to ‘walking the walk’, Mr. Bilbray has repeatedly turned his back on the middle class and stood up for profitable oil companies.
“Congressman Bilbray has taken $230,000 dollars from the oil and gas industry; in return he’s supported huge subsidies and tax breaks for these corporations which have never been more profitable,” said Peters campaign Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar.
“While rising gas prices put the squeeze on family budgets, Mr. Bilbray hasn’t done a thing to provide relief at the pump,” she added. “He’s been too busy protecting billions in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies while protecting the Wall Street speculators who drive up the price of gas.”
Instead of acting to reduce gas prices, Mr. Bilbray has acted in his own self-interest, voting repeatedly with Tea Party leaders to protect the bottom lines of Big Oil companies that are posting record profits. He even voted against cracking down on Wall Street speculators that manipulate the market and drive up gas prices for California families.
“His campaign message is ‘re-elect me. I have 12 years of seniority and know how to work the system.’ What he’s really saying is he knows how to make the system work for him, not for the voters,” said Pintar.
Gasoline Prices in California Set Record. “The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California reached $4.671…The price jump, the Energy Department said, left California motorists paying an average of 84.4 cents a gallon more than they were at this time last year.” [LA Times, 10/10/12]
Congressman Bilbray Took Over $200,000 from Oil and Gas Industry. Bilbray has taken $235,218 from the oil and gas industry while in Congress. [opensecrets.org, accessed 10/15/12]
Congressman Bilbray Voted to Protect Tax Breaks for Big Oil. On April 15, 2011, Bilbray voted to protect special interest tax breaks, such as tax breaks for big oil companies. “the Ryan plan secures no deficit-reduction contribution at all from closing special interest tax breaks, such as breaks for big oil companies.” [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11]
Congressman Bilbray Voted to Make it Easier for Speculators to Manipulate Oil Prices. House Republicans voted against increasing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission budget by $11.8 million for enforcement against oil and gas speculators. [HR 2112, Vote #458, 6/16/11; Congressional Record, H4312, 6/16/11]
Congressman Bilbray Voted for a Budget that Pads Big Oil’s Pockets with Senseless Subsidies. In April 2011, Congressman Bilbray voted for the FY12 Republican budget, which secured no deficit-reduction contribution at all from closing special interest tax breaks, such as tax breaks for big oil companies. [H Con Res 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11]
Congressman Bilbray Voted for 19 Percent Cut to Clean Energy Programs. Bilbray voted for the Ryan budget which included cuts to clean energy programs. “Clean energy programs would be cut by 19 percent over the next decade, derailing efforts to put a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, retrofit residential homes to save energy and consumers money, and make the commercial building sector 20 percent more efficient by 2022.” [Office of Management and Budget, 3/21/12; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12]
Congressman Bilbray Voted Against Increasing Funding for Renewable Energy and Taking Away Funding for Fossil Fuel Research. In 2011, Bilbray voted against an amendment to increase funding for renewable energy and take funding away from fossil fuel research. Bilbray voted against an amendment that would increase funding for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs by $24 million and reduce funding for fossil-fuel energy research and development by $50 million. [Amendment, HR 2354, Vote #544, 7/12/11]
Bilbray Voted to Cut Funding for Renewable Energy Programs. In 2007, Bilbray voted in favor of an amendment to the fiscal year 2008 Energy and Water appropriations bill that would reduce funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs by $102 million. [HR 2641, Vote #509, 6/19/07]