With gas prices skyrocketing out of control, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said he is stepping up his fight to pass the “Gas Price Spike Act of 2005,” HR 2070. The legislation, introduced by Kucinich in May, is currently co-sponsored by 37 members of Congress.

The bill would place a windfall profits tax on oil companies, give tax credits for the purchase of ultra-efficient vehicles and provide federal grants to lower mass transit fares.

“Consumers in northeast Ohio, and nationwide, are being gouged at the pump,” Kucinich said. “The only thing rising faster than the price of gasoline right now is the skyrocketing profits of the oil companies.”

“Congress must act immediately upon returning in September, and I am renewing my efforts to pass HR 2070, and bring immediate relief to consumers,” he said.

Kucinich’s bill would:

• Institute a windfall profit tax on gasoline and diesel. It would apply to all industry profits that are above a reasonable level. It would not increase the cost of gasoline because it does not tax the price of gasoline. It only taxes excessive profits of refineries and distributors. If the companies attempt to increase prices to recover the lost revenue from these taxes, that would be taxed at 100 percent, making such price increases worthless.

• Use the revenue from the windfall profits tax to give a tax credit to Americans who buy ultra-efficient U.S.-made cars that get more than 65 miles per gallon. Today average cars get less than 30 miles per gallon.

• Establish a program to promote mass rail transit.

Spiraling gas prices hit families, nonprofit agencies, school districts and communities, co-sponsor Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said when the bill was introduced in May. “Washington can no longer ignore this issue,” he said.