Feature

What Congress should do about high oil prices

The parties can't agree. Should we be glad?

What happened
Congress is speeding toward its August recess deadlocked over proposals to ease rising energy costs. Republicans blocked three bills, including a proposal to release 70 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum reserve, in an attempt to get Democrats to stop preventing a vote on expanding offshore oil drilling. (The Christian Science Monitor)

What the commentators said
Lawmakers are about to leave Washington on their long August recess without doing anything to give Americans relief from soaring gas prices, said Investor’s Business Daily in an editorial. But President Bush has the power to shame them into action. Just as Harry Truman did 60 years ago, Bush should recall this “do-nothing” Congress to authorize offshore oil drilling.

Americans should be thankful for the paralysis on Capitol Hill, said The New York Times in an editorial. The Republicans' push for offshore drilling is a bad idea, as is the Democrats' "misbegotten plan to curb speculation in oil futures.” In an election year with a sagging economy and high energy prices, the last place you’ll find sensible energy policies is in Washington.

So look elsewhere, said The Washington Times in an editorial. Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens has a plan to free America of its dependency on foreign oil by building “a network of wind turbines stretching from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota that frees up natural gas for auto fuel conversion.” Pickens’ plan might not work, but it’s the kind of bold innovation the country needs right now.

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