Richard Blumenthal

Eyes Turn To Washington As Gas Prices Climb

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Gas prices have sharply increased over the past month increasing the pressure on Washington to do something about it. 

“Now that it’s at $3.50 I’m driving less and less. It kinda sucks, but it is what it is,” said Brandon Phai of West Hartford.

It cost Phai $50 to fill up his Subaru on Friday. 

“I wish it was lower, I think most people wish it was lower, but what are you going to do?” said Phai.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal says he’s looking to President Joe Biden to release millions of barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

“It is not any policy out of Washington D.C. It’s OPEC exploiting shortages and disruptions and weather events around the world simply to make more money,” said Blumenthal. 

Blumenthal says the Biden administration is considering it. 

“We’re very sympathetic to the idea that we need more clean energy, more renewables, but right now we face an immediate crisis and we should act on that crisis to make more product available to the market and dampen the expectations that prices are going to continue to surge,” said Blumenthal. 

“You typically see after the Labor Day weekend when the demand drops off, gas prices start to decline as well but we haven’t seen that this year because the real problem is the price of crude oil,” said Amy Parmenter of AAA. 

Parmenter says the U.S. at this moment is more dependent on foreign oil. 

“As long as that crude oil price is as high as it is we’re going to see the gas prices continue to rise,” said Parmenter.  

People we spoke to at the pump want leaders in Washington to do something. 

“I thought we had a pipeline going and we were becoming oil independent and now it’s, 'Oh they’re not producing any more than what's being produced,' excuse me?” said Delmy Villanueva. 

Villaneuva says there’s plenty of blame to go around. 

“Typical Connecticut leadership is to blame others rather than to really pass bills or laws that are really going to do something about it, not just point fingers and say who's at fault. But it definitely is our leadership at fault,” said Villanueva. 

Blumenthal’s message to the Biden administration: 

“Release this product and stop the export of product from the United States,” said Blumenthal. 

“I see no reason why the President of the United States wouldn’t take advantage of this kind of common sense step that other presidents have used.” 

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