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NAACP Supports Efforts to Stop and Reverse the Dramatic Increase the Dramatic Increase in Fuel Process; Supports Long-Term, Aggressive Energy Policy to Insulate Us Against Future Situations

WHEREAS, between February 2008 and June 2008, the average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has risen by more than 30%; and

WHEREAS, between July 2007 and July 2008, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel increased by more than 75%; and

WHEREAS, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll, 90% of Americans expect gas prices to pose some form of a financial hardship in the next six months; and

WHEREAS, in less than 5 years, the amount of money the average household spends on gasoline in a year has more than doubled from $1,422 in 2003 to $3,196 in 2008; and

WHEREAS, the jump in gas prices over the past year from $2.00 to $4.00 a gallon has taken and estimated $50 a month from the typical suburban commuter driving 25 miles a day; and

WHEREAS, the average private worker now earns about $600 a week, not including fringe benefits. For this worker, gasoline can easily cost 1/10 of his or her income. Possessing little leeway in spending, a 25% increase in the price of gas could have catastrophic effects for these individuals; and

WHEREAS, as wealthy individuals move back into cities, the poor are being pushed outward, thus causing hospital and hotel employees who work in upscale cities to look for affordable housing that is often 30 to 50 miles from their jobs; and

WHEREAS, while many poorer families continue to live in the city, the greatest job growth in recent years has been in jobs that are located more than 5 miles; and

WHEREAS, low income workers are often forced to drive to and from work since public transportation from the cities to suburbs is very limited; and

WHEREAS, high gas prices are likely to impact low income workers more because they are less capable of making adjustments; and

WHEREAS, low income workers often drive older cars that are frequently maintained poorly because they lack the funds to acquire quality mechanical work and therefore get very poor gas mileage; and

WHEREAS, the high price of gas forces people to choose between paying for a mortgage, medical bills, gasoline, or food, since the budgets of low income individuals are often unable to stretch over all these areas; and

WHEREAS, faced with soaring gas prices, more than half of the agencies that provide services to the elderly have had to cut back their programs; 90% of these agencies say that they expect to make cuts in the 2009 fiscal year; and

WHEREAS, home to only 4% of the world's population, the U.S. uses about 25% of the planet's oil; and

WHEREAS, the average cost of heating oil in winter 2006-2007 was $2.42; the average cost of heating oil in winter 2007-2008 was $3.29, which resulted in an increase to the average household of heating oil in the winter of more than $400; and

WHEREAS, oil companies are currently using, for the production of oil, less than half the public lands that they have leased for drilling.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly supports comprehensive public, private, domestic and multi-national strategies to address the immediate problems being faced by Americans, and disproportionately low-income and racial and ethnic minority Americans, and small business owners, most notably commercial truckers as a result of higher fuel costs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on both public and private employers to begin to employ strategies to help their workers deal with the currently high, and seemingly always increasing cost of fuel; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on all interested parties, domestic and international, to develop long-term strategies to reduce the global demand for gasoline and stabilize the price of energy.

Together Power Vote Hero - NAACP

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