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Bush Admits Energy Bill Won't Lower Gas Prices

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Despite his continuing demands that Congress send him an energy bill by the summer, President Bush has finally admitted it would take magic to make his drill-happy legislation ease gas prices.

“I wish I could simply wave a magic wand and lower gas prices tomorrow,” Bush said in a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The New York Times reports. But the bill “wouldn’t change the price at the pump today,” he said.

While lamenting his inability to help average citizens, even with a Congress controlled by his own party, Bush clearly still expects Americans to pay for benefits and incentives to oil companies. The magic wand defense is his only explanation for supporting legislation that provides an estimated $22 billion in tax breaks, incentives and potential federal aid to the oil industry—and may hike gas prices up another 3 cents a gallon for taxpayers.

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY, bucked the party line, calling it “a tragedy and a farce” that the House bill wouldn’t reduce oil consumption by a single barrel by 2020. Indeed, Republicans touted the energy bill as improving conservation and alternative energy sources, and then defeated a provision on new gas mileage standards and a ban on drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

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