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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint House Resolution

J.R.H.  60

Joint resolution requesting immediate congressional action to halt skyrocketing gasoline prices

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski of Rockingham and Pugh of S. Burlington

Whereas, Vermont is a rural state with minimal public transportation, and thousands of individuals must drive their cars to work daily, many for extended distances, and

Whereas, the state of Vermont’s economy is heavily reliant on automotive tourism and other recreation‑related activities, including snowmobiling, which according to a 2002 Johnson College study, generates an annual revenue of $500,000,000.00 in the state, and

Whereas, farmers are dependent on gasoline to operate tractors, combines, trucks, and other absolutely essential equipment, without which they could not perform their daily chores and sustain their livelihood, and

Whereas, the federal Energy Information Administration announced on

March 31, 2008 that the nationwide average retail price of regular unleaded gasoline stood at 333.9 cents per gallon, and the comparable New England figure was nearly as higher at 332.0 cents per gallon, and

Whereas, since the end of February, the national average has risen nearly 14 cents per gallon and the New England average has increased just above 12 cents per gallon, and

Whereas, the national and New England comparable prices for the last week of March 2007 were significantly lower than in 2008, and

Whereas, this upward spiral represents an approximately 25 percent rise in the last 12 moths and is on top of the large national increase that occurred between March 2006 and March 2007, and

Whereas, higher retail gasoline prices cause an increasingly harsh financial hardship for a large percentage of Vermonters, and

Whereas, while public transit use in Vermont is now on the rise, which is a positive environmental development, it is often not a primary transportation option, because it remains unavailable in most of the state, and


Whereas, the impact on the Vermont economy is spreading as families are starting to restrict, if not eliminate, making major new purchases or engaging in optional activities such as dining in restaurants or attending entertainment events, in order that the money saved can be applied to the cost of gasoline, and

Whereas, the reduction in many families’ nonessential consumer expenditures means that there are fewer daily business transactions in Vermont, and this development could trigger economic difficulties in the months ahead, and

Whereas, the now skyrocketing price of gasoline at the pump constitutes an economic emergency of the first order, demanding a decisive and immediate response of the same magnitude Americans would expect if OPEC were to impose another embargo on all oil shipments to the United States as it did in the 1970s, and

Whereas, while the nation’s motorists are paying exorbitant prices for gasoline at the pump, compensation for oil company executives continues to rise, and ExxonMobil is now among the most profitable publicly traded companies in the United States, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly strongly urges the executive and legislative branches of the federal government to take immediate steps, both on the economic domestic front and on the international diplomatic stage, that are deemed most effective, including the convening of an international emergency energy price summit as Senator Sanders has suggested, the selling of the crude oil set to be placed or already stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and imposing temporary price controls on retail gasoline sales as ways to halt this skyrocketing rise in gasoline prices that negatively impacts the entire nation but is particularly devastating to rural states such as Vermont that are so heavily dependent on private automobiles for basic transportation and commerce needs, and be it further

Resolved:  That the general assembly urges the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to examine immediately the viability of these proposed measures to halt the skyrocketing price of gasoline in the United States, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, to U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman, to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to U.S. Representatives John Boehner, John Dingell, and Joe Barton, to U.S. Senators Trent Lott, Harry Reid, Jeff Bingaman, and Pete Domenici, and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.




____________________________              Attested to:

Gaye R. Symington

Speaker of the House


____________________________              ____________________________

Brian E. Dubie                                             Donald G. Milne

President of the Senate                               Clerk, House of Representatives



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont