Citing the high cost of gasoline, including a time this week when he says costs in southwest Missouri rose by 10 cents in one day, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is again urging passage of the Gas Accessibility & Stabilization (GAS) Act. KSMU’s Scott Harvey attended a gathering in Ozark to learn more.
The legislation further broadens periods where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can grant a waiver to a community to use whatever fuel they have on hand if there is a disruption. It’s intended to lower fuel prices by improving the reliability, flexibility, and affordability of what are called “boutique fuels,” which have been specially formulated for use in a particular region to help meet local air quality requirements.
“People all over southwest Missouri wanna live where they wanna live. But that is not necessarily where their job is. And they don’t mind 30, or 40, of 45 minutes to drive to get to work; if they can afford to make that drive,” Blunt said.
Blunt blames some of the major price fluctuations this summer on switching from the winter to summer fuel blend. He says should a refinery disruption occur, his bill would allow areas to waive some of these unique fuel blend standards for a short period of time.
The Republican Senator, who has championed cheaper gas on numerous occasions, reintroduced the GAS Act in July, which also calls on the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a Fuel Harmonization Study, as directed by the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, to determine the status of boutique fuel programs and their impact on supply, reliability, and gas prices.
“And so this sets a deadline for that, not just a requirement that they do it, but a deadline for that."
He added that as American energy source potential grows; the country needs to rethink “how we make more American energy into more American jobs.”
Blunt also joined several politicians in condemning Saturday’s actions at Missouri’s State Fair, where a rodeo clown wearing a President Obama mask was mocked.
He called the action inappropriate, adding that the state government has reacted as they should have.
“The state contracts with somebody to have those events at the fair, and they need to have some guidelines as to what’s appropriate in those events. And it seemed to me that that was totally inappropriate.”
Blunt is scheduled to attend a couple of events at the Missouri State Fair on Thursday.
Gov. Nixon says his office plans to review the fair contracts and look at holding individuals accountable.
The rodeo clown at the center of the controversy, Tuffy Gessling, has said that “nothing racist was ever implied” during Saturday’s skit.