Senate Democrats Call for Hearings into High Gas Prices

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

Gas prices in Florida hit a record-high average of $1.75 a gallon for regular unleaded this month. Democrats are now calling for senate hearings into the price spike.

Sen. David Aronberg of Green Acres wants oil execs to explain under oath what's really behind rising prices.

“Is it true that gas prices are surging because of high demand for oil in China? Is it true because of a barge accident on the Mississippi River that we're being gouged at the pump? We don't know. We'd like to get answers on this, and if it is true, then the public has a right to know about it," he says.

The senators point to last year's medical malpractice insurance hearings, when testimony under oath showed who was lying and who was telling the truth.

Senate President Jim King says it's awfully late in the session to call for hearings, but he wouldn't rule it out.

“If there was something to be gained from that, I mean if there was something positive we could do, I'd be interested in doing it.”

Most motorists will agree something needs to be done about sky-high gas prices, but many of these same concerns are raised year after year. The question becomes, is this a legitimate effort to bring down prices, or just election-year politicking?

Senate Minority Leader Ron Klein admits it's a juicy issue for politicians who would love to unseat President George Bush.

“We need to have a national debate. If it's during the presidential election year then that's the time to do it because gas prices have spiked.”

Still, the democrats admit the only real solution to the gas crunch may be pushing congress to require fuel-efficient cars. Florida Senate democrats are joining with the state of Arizona in calling on President George Bush to launch a federal probe into the gas price spike.


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