Tester demands more energy options as Big Oil rakes in profits

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today demanded more energy options for Montana, after criticizing Big Oil for earning record profits at the expense of hard-working Americans.

Tester pointed out that Montanans are paying for some of the highest gasoline prices in the country—an average of $2.90 per gallon, according to AAA.   At the same time large oil companies are reporting massive first-quarter profits this week:

"Montanans are sick and tired of paying for billion-dollar bonuses," Tester said today after a Capitol Hill news conference.  "Three-dollar gas and $400 million retirement plans for don't sit well with this farmer.  They don't sit well with Montana and they don't sit well with America."

Tester added he has no choice but to use about 3,000 gallons of diesel every year on his farm.

During today's news conference with other freshman senators, Tester renewed his call for more investment in alternative fuels like biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol.  Cellulosic ethanol is made from agricultural leftovers like straw and bark, and does not compete with the U.S. food supply. 

"If folks like farmers and ranchers had options and they could burn biofuels in their trucks or tractors for half the price, Big Oil would take notice and start behaving responsibly," Tester said.

Diversifying the nation's energy supply will not only cut the cost of fuel and our dependence on foreign oil, it will make America more secure, Tester said.

"Especially in Montana, we've got the resources to give America more energy options," Tester said.  "The only folks who don't win when Americans demand more options are the folks who will be getting hundred-million dollar bonuses this year."