A convoy of truckers, horns blaring, drove into Washington, D.C., Monday morning to protest high fuel prices.
The group Truckers and Citizens United organized the rally. An estimated 350 trucks were expected. According to the Associated Press, the trucks circled the National Mall before parking at RFK Stadium. From there, about 100 protesters marched and took shuttles to the Capitol, where an afternoon rally was held.
The truckers planned to ask Congress to stop subsidizing big oil companies, release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, end exports of oil from Alaska and regulate transportation brokers and fees paid to truckers, the station said.
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued a statement about the rally: "The hundreds of truckers, whose very livelihoods depend on access to affordable fuel, in Washington represent the frustration of every American paying more than $4 a gallon for diesel and almost that much for gas." Blunt accused Democratic Congressional leaders of "playing political hot-potato with the issue, while demanding that OPEC produce more -- increasing our dependence on foreign oil -- while simultaneously blocking energy production here at home."
"It's time that Congress passes an energy bill that actually produces energy so we can confront an issue that is directly hurting the American people and our economy."
A number of the truckers came from Pennsylvania, leaving about 6 a.m. Monday to make the trip. According to WGAL, organizers pointed out that each trucker would spend $500 to $550 in fuel alone to make the trip, not to mention about $1,200 to $3,000 in lost time and wages.
Ironically, another protest scheduled for today, in Pierre, S.D., drew only about a dozen trucks instead of the hundreds that were expected - because high fuel costs kept them from making the trip. According to the Associated Press, many truck drivers decided not to attend because they could not afford to buy fuel for the trip. The truckers gathered at a city park and then drove in a convoy past the state Capitol.