Durbin: High gas prices 'a wake-up call'

March 13, 2011 3:37:19 PM PDT
With gas prices closing in on a two-year high and still rising, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says it's time to end tax breaks for large oil companies.

The senator calls $4 a gallon gasoline here in the Chicago area "a wake-up call."

He says rolling back tax breaks for the top five oil companies, which he says profit from spiking oil prices, could save billions in tax dollars.

He also criticized House of Representative Republicans for their budget proposal to cut research funding into alternative energy.

How in the world can we cut investment in energy research at this moment in our history if we're thinking ahead, to be competitive in the world, we need research," Durbin said.

"Gas prices have doubled under Obama, and one of the reasons is because he has not issued drilling permits," said Minority Whip U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

As of this weekend, the national average cost for regular gas is $3.56 cents a gallon.