Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton: Where Is the Leadership?

pumphead.jpegJoining Hillary Clinton in the push to reduce the federal gas tax is fellow New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has railed about gas prices at least since they "soared" to $1.59 per gallon.

As Politico reports, rather than talking about climate change and auto dependence, Schumer is pushing a Democratic plan to go after "Wall Street speculators, OPEC, price gougers and Big Oil":

[R]egardless of the legislative realities — not to mention the
futility of promising short-term decreases in gas prices
— Democrats
have embraced a political opportunity. By proposing aggressive
legislation that takes on the boogeymen of the oil tycoons and
profiteering speculators, Democrats are trying to corner Republicans
into choosing between a president who is chummy with the oil industry
and a decidedly populist energy bill.

“We need to stop the speculation” that’s driving up oil prices, said
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who has been involved in discussions with
Democratic leaders who debated energy policy at a closed-door lunch
Tuesday. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised “short-term relief and
long-term relief” and insisted that “Big Oil should pay” for any
suspension of gas taxes.

As Politico points out, the main elements of the plan, which include substituting gas tax revenues with new taxes on oil companies, investigating price gouging, and diverting oil from national reserves to increase supply, are mostly long shots and short-term fixes. Why can’t Schumer and Clinton take a cue from the New York City Model of transit oriented development and show some true leadership?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Clinton Camp May Rethink Gas Tax Strategy

|
With a big loss in North Carolina and a razor-thin victory in Indiana, the Times reports that Senator Hillary Clinton’s advisers are expected to reconsider her campaign strategy for upcoming Democratic primaries — specifically, whether to continue pushing for a federal gas tax cut. Clinton advisers also said that the candidates and her team would […]

Chuck Schumer on Transit: I’ve Got Your Back, Fairfield County

|
Schumer in Chautauqua. When was the last time you saw Chuck with a majestic cityscape behind him? New York’s senior senator threw suburban train riders a bone yesterday, announcing that he’s secured a tax break for transit commuters in the Senate version of the stimulus bill. The Daily News reports: The provision would raise the […]

Is “Cash for Clunkers” a Good Idea, Ever?

|
Photo: bondidwhat/Flickr The New York Times today endorsed a bill from Senator Chuck Schumer, and its companion in the House, co-sponsored by Long Island Democrat Steve Israel, which would offer up to $4,000 in vouchers to drivers who give up their gas guzzlers (averaging 18 miles-per-gallon or worse) in exchange for "a new or used […]

Electeds Go to the Mat for Cheap Gas

|
Desperate to look as if they’re responding to motorists complaints and prayers, state and federal electeds continue to scramble for a quick fix to ever-rising gas prices. In Albany, Senate Republicans have adopted the state gas tax "holiday" as their issue of the moment. Since the largely-ridiculed measure is going nowhere in the Assembly, Joe […]