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A convoy of trucks rolled through Washington, DC, on Monday, as part of a protest to pressure Congress into acting on high gas prices. As gas around the US hit an average of $3.66 per gallon–a full 66 cents above the price this time last year–truckers called on the US government to take action.
VOICEOVER: A convoy of protesting truckers circled the National Mall in Washington, DC, on Tuesday as part of a rally petitioning Congress to address rapidly rising oil prices. Gas prices reached an average of US$3 and $0.60 a gallon, or $0.66 higher than one year ago. Oil futures rose to their own new record, near $120 a barrel, on Monday.
MILTON WHITAKER, TRUCK DRIVER: This is about the people in The White House. We’ve got to get a handle on these oil companies. They’re raking us over the coals.
VOICEOVER: The truckers are calling on Congress to stop subsidizing big oil companies, release oil from the strategic petroleum reserves, and open up domestic drilling, among other things. A trucking shutdown is planned for May 5. We spoke to J. B. Shaffner of Truckers and Citizens United to find out more about Tuesday’s rally.
VOICE OF J. B. SHAFFNER, TRUCKERS AND CITIZENS UNITED: We rolled in yesterday. We got attention. We had a meeting with Senator Jeff Sessions. We were so well received. We’ve made the suggestion to have the old decommissioned military bases used to build brand new refineries and the diversion of oil into this strategic reserve. Those were two of the strongest demands that we had. We’re not going to stop until we actually do receive that immediate relief. There’s a tax check that’s going to be coming out. That’s nice, but I do have to say it’s only $600 for each and every person. $600 is not going to save a business. $600 is not going to keep the bank from foreclosing on people’s homes. That’s what fuels our fire, the passion for what we feel that’s happening to truckers and citizens, you know, to the foundation of what this country is, and that’s us. We have scheduled a series of events May 1. It’s just a one-day process, and May 5 being the nationwide shutdown.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.