Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gas guzzler politics II

Egad! Stop presses! A genuine difference has arisen between Clinton and Obama. Clinton favors suspending the federal gas tax by 18.4 cents per gallon for the summer, as does McCain. Obama opposes it.

According to the New York Times, Clinton seeks a windfall-profits tax on oil companies to replace the revenue (how will she prevent the vertically integrated companies from passing the charges on to consumers?). Obama opposes the gas-tax reduction as a temporary fix that will take needed funds from the nation's highways.

Europe, where gas prices are astronomical, must be chuckling at this debate. In any case, the squabble shows up the political difficulties ahead for America's climate-change legislation, which would, in theory at least, boost energy costs at a time when people are already hurting.

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