Franken outlines plan to cut energy costs

Al Franken
Al Franken lays out a three-point plan to reduce the cost of gas at the Super Day Gas Station on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul on July 28, 2008.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

DFL Senate candidate Al Franken says the federal government should sell off 50 million barrels of oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve over the next three months.

Franken says such a release would bring down the cost of fuel and raise $5 to $7 billion dollars. Franken says some of that money could go toward improving the energy efficiency of homes.

"I want to add another half billion to the W.A.P., the weatherization assistance program, to help families make it through the winter," Franken said.

Franken is also calling for a crackdown on energy trading speculation in hopes of preventing investors from driving up the cost of fuel. Franken criticized Republican Sen. Norm Coleman for voting against an anti-speculation bill last week.

Coleman said he voted no on the measure, because it did not include a provision to open more areas to off-shore drilling. Franken opposes increasing off-shore leases.

Franken said oil companies should drill in the off-shore areas where they currently hold leases.