Kirk outlines plan to cut gas prices

April 18, 2011

(WBEZ/Susie An)
Senator Mark Kirk

Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says a mix of permanent tax credits and continued off-shore drilling could bring down fuel costs in the state. Kirk says exploring natural gas supplies and speeding up the permit process to drill in the Gulf of Mexico could help bring immediate relief at the gas pump.

"If the market saw Congress moving in this bipartisan direction, it would see larger supplies in the future and that would directly affect the futures market. The price of gasoline right now is artificially high because the markets see a constriction of supply," he says.
 
Kirk says market prices are affected by instability overseas like the conflict in Libya.
 
He says federal officials should research natural gas supplies from the New Albany shale in the Illinois basin. He also says production tax credits for renewable energy like wind and solar power should be permanent rather than expiring next year or in 2013.
 
However, the Senator couldn't say how quickly or how much these plans would impact the market.
 
Illinois' average price per gallon of gas is just over $4.