Maroun writes Obama on high gas prices

A Franklin County lawmaker reached out to President Barack Obama this week with a pair of recommendations on how to hold the line on gasoline prices and make the country more energy efficient.

Paul Maroun, the Republican who represents Tupper Lake and Santa Clara on the Franklin County Board of Legislators, wrote a letter to President Obama containing to recommendations.

Maroun says increasing gasoline prices have a particularly negative effect on the North Country.

"In my rural upstate New York area people cannot get to work, health care facilities, places of worship or grocery stores with cars," he wrote.

"There is no mass transportation like the subway in New York or the metro in Washington, D.C.," he added.

In his letter, Maroun recommends that the country eliminate the three types of unleaded gasoline currently on the market - "regular," "super," and "premium" - and just sell one type.

"This would immediately allow the oil that is refined or purchased to be only 'regular' gasoline and lower the price," he said, noting that some 99 percent of vehicles drive in the United States use only regular gasoline.

Additionally, Maroun recommends that all American gasoline companies should be given three years to increase refinery capacities or face "an executive order of price control."

"This would then put the pressure on American gasoline companies to either increase production or reduce corporate profits," Maroun writes.

According to Maroun, implementing those two recommendations would immediately stabilize gas prices across the United States, making more crude oil available for regular has and home heating fuel.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote President Obama, urging him to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Gas prices in the North Country have increased some 20 percent over the course of the last year.

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