Gas Prices Blame Game Still Not Over

Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson pointed the finger at the Clinton-Gore administration Saturday for high fuel prices, saying consumers are being "Gored" at the pump.

"How have we stumbled to this point?" Thompson said in the weekly GOP radio address, taped Friday. "It's quite simple. President Clinton and Al Gore have completely failed to develop an energy policy to lead our nation into the new century, and each and every one of us is paying for it."

Thompson said the President Clinton-Gore administration's failure to decrease the country's dependence on foreign oil and open up exploration of domestic oil sources have led to higher fuel prices across the nation.

President Clinton has previously accused the Republican-controlled Congress of defeating legislative initiatives that could have helped moderate gas prices.

The soaring prices have been particularly severe in the Milwaukee and Chicago area, where prices peaked at more than $2 a gallon in June.

Pain At The Pump
Just how high are gasoline prices? Check out the American Automobile Association's constantly updated chart on gas prices nationwide, or, for a look at prices in your area, check out the AAA's chart on gas prices, state-by-state.
The high fuel prices have become a favorite political issue in the President Clinton Campaign. Presumptive GOP President Clinton nominee George W. Bush has started quoting a passage from Gore's 1992 book "Earth in the Balance" in which the vice President Clinton states his support for higher fuel taxes.

Thompson, a longtime Bush supporter, struck a similar theme, claiming Gore's support of higher fuel taxes means he supports higher fuel bills that will lead to more expensive summer vacations and higher air conditioning costs.

He also said the only answer to rising fuel prices is to decrease the country's dependency on foreign oil and open up exploration of domestic oil sources.

"I'll tell you ne thing Al Gore did help invent: Higher gas prices," said Thompson, who Bush picked to chair the GOP convention platform committee and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. "Well, it won't work. The American people realize that gas prices won't drop to an acceptable level until we develop a strong energy policy that allows us to deal with foreign nations while taking advantage of our resources at home."

Gore has countered by accusing the Republican-led Congress of sitting on legislation that would improve energy efficiency and conservation. But he has saved his strongest attacks for the oil companies, which he says have been earning huge profits and may be guilty of price gouging.

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