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Heat on Politicians Soars As Gas Prices, Oil Industry Profits Keep on Moving Up

WASHINGTON, D.C.///May 3, 2006//// As gasoline prices at the pump remain on track to top the previous record high of $3.07 per gallon after Hurricane Katrina, the nonprofit 40mpg.org is enlisting angry voters to contact their members of Congress to find out if they support or oppose a windfall profits tax on obscene oil company profits.

On September 22, 2005, 40mpg.org released a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation showing that four out of five Americans - including 76 percent of Republicans - would support "a tax on the windfall profits of oil companies" if the resulting revenues were devoted to alternative energy research. Since then, gas prices have gotten much worse, rising 25 cents in a recent two-week period. Oil companies have added to the ire of motorists by announcing a new round of multi-billion-dollar quarterly profits.

Civil Society Institute President Pam Solo said: "Americans have seen too much price gouging and too little action from Washington on energy prices, fuel-efficient vehicles and our dangerous reliance on foreign oil. We want to give motorists something constructive to do by forcing their members of Congress to declare publicly one way or the other on the windfall profits tax. Members of Congress are either with motorists or they are against them; we plan to work with Americans to find out who is on the side of consumers and who is on the side of Big Oil."

The online letter to Congress at http://www.40mpg.org reads in part: "Like most Americans, I am sick and tired of big oil companies gouging consumers at the gas pump. I am not content with elected officials in Washington who are failing to do enough about the energy problem and our dangerous reliance on Middle Eastern oil. I urge you to take the following steps: stand up today in favor of a windfall profits tax on oil companies to finance alternative energy research; impose higher fuel-efficiency requirements on American autos and other vehicles; and encourage U.S. production and sales of hybrid vehicles, clean diesel and other fuel-saving technology. Please send your response to this email to me and to . I support 40mpg.org's effort to publish which Members of Congress are for and against a windfall profit taxes on obscene oil company profits."

Full results from the September 22, 2005 40mpg.org survey are available online at http://www.40mpg.org. An earlier March 17, 2005 ORC survey commissioned by 40mpg.org and CSI found that two out of three Americans think that it is patriotic to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle that uses less gasoline and, therefore, requires this country to import less oil from the Middle East. Only a third of Americans disagreed with this statement, including just14 percent who did so strongly.


Launched in March 2005, the 40mpg.org Web site includes powerful features that permit visitors to: determine how much they would save by getting 40 miles to the gallon; compare and contrast one vehicle's fuel-efficiency ratings with those of others; monitor how individual members of Congress weighed in on the most recent fuel-efficiency standard votes; contact automakers to speak out in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles; and send a letter to the editor of a local newspaper urging the adoption of a 40 mpg fuel-efficiency standard. 40mpg.org is not affiliated in any way with the maker or makers of any vehicles or fuel-efficiency technology. 40mpg.org is a project of the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (). The Institute is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society.

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or .

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