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September 29, 2022

Trone, Pallone Introduce Legislation to Lower Gas Prices

Credit: Garrett County Republican

Congressman David Trone (D-Md.), alongside House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone and other members of Congress, introduced the Buy Low and Sell High Act, new legislation that creates an Economic Petroleum Reserve designed to help continue the current trend of falling gasoline prices and save money for American taxpayers by empowering the Department of Energy (DOE) to buy oil when prices are low and sell oil when prices are high.

“For months, Americans have suffered from Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine. We need to establish long-term strategies to keep these conflicts away from our local economies and protect Americans’ wallets,” said Trone. “This legislation will do just that by providing the Executive Branch with the authority to think smarter about our energy sources and make our country more resilient against market manipulation by other countries.”

After the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo of 1973–74, Congress created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to insulate Americans from global oil supply disruptions. While the administration has successfully used the SPR to lower gas prices — which have fallen more than $1.30 per gallon since June — Trone believes new authorities are needed to ensure that OPEC and Russia cannot continue to manipulate global oil prices to harm the American economy and its consumers.

The Buy Low and Sell High Act gives the president the ability to better protect American consumers by granting the DOE the ability to sell a 350-million-barrel subset, called the Economic Petroleum Reserve, from the SPR when prices are high, ensuring that Americans get immediate price relief instead of waiting months or years.

In addition to creating this cost-saving strategy, this bill also:

  • Establishes strategic gasoline and diesel reserves in every region of the United States, ensuring product can be deployed immediately during emergencies;
  • Prohibits barrels stored within the SPR from being exported or sold to entities owned, controlled or influenced by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea or any other country under U.S. sanctions;
  • Lowers gasoline prices and improves U.S. energy security by funding improvements at oil refineries located in allied countries;
  • Reduces U.S. reliance on foreign oil and empowers states to lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by investing profits from oil sales in state EV infrastructure programs; and,
  • Ensures that the federal government leads by example and sets targets for acquiring a fully zero-emission federal vehicle fleet.

Other original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Jason Crow (D-Col.), Josh Harder (D-Calif.), Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.).

Trone named 2022 “Friend of Farm Bureau”

Also this week, Trone was named a “Friend of Farm Bureau” during the 117th Congress for his consistent support of Maryland agriculture.

Trone has received this recognition during both of his terms in Congress for his leadership and advocacy in supporting Maryland’s farmers and food security for American consumers.

“I’m honored to receive the Friend of Farm Bureau award,” said Trone. “Growing up on my family’s 200-acre chicken and hog farm, I have never turned away from the most pressing issues facing our farmers and agricultural sector, including supply chain and broadband infrastructure. In Congress, I will always represent the voices of our farming communities — you can count on it.”

“The support of this year’s Friend of Farm Bureau recipients helps to preserve the future of family farms in Maryland, maintain our ability to produce safe and affordable food, and provide resources to assist farmers in implementing environmentally friendly practices,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President Wayne Stafford. “We are very fortunate to have elected officials in Washington, D.C., who understand and appreciate the important role agriculture plays in our nation.”

The Friend of Farm Bureau award is presented at the end of each Congress to lawmakers based on individual voting records on Farm Bureau priority issues, which, in 2021 and 2022, included emergency COVID assistance for farmers, rural broadband access, funding for infrastructure and ocean shipping reform.

“Maryland’s farming community is the backbone of our state, providing an abundant and reliable supply of food, renewable fuel and fiber,” said Stafford. “Farm Bureau is honored to recognize these five members of Congress for their outstanding support that ensures our rural and urban agricultural communities continue to thrive.”

The Friend of Farm Bureau awards, which began in 1996, were presented during Maryland Farm Bureau’s Council of County Presidents Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.