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Albany Reform

Electeds Go to the Mat for Cheap Gas

Desperate to look as if they're responding to motorists complaints and prayers, state and federal electeds continue to scramble for a quick fix to ever-rising gas prices.

In Albany, Senate Republicans have adopted the state gas tax "holiday" as their issue of the moment. Since the largely-ridiculed measure is going nowhere in the Assembly, Joe Bruno and colleagues can circulate petitions and distribute mailers like the one above with impunity, scoring cheap political points while accomplishing nothing.

But the diddling in Albany seems innocuous when compared to doings in D.C. Yesterday, with George W. Bush enroute to the Middle East, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to divert oil supplies from the national reserve, even as many lawmakers acknowledged that doing so would at best result in a small, short-term drop in prices at the pump.

Democrats basically portrayed the vote as a stall tactic offered in lieu of an actual energy policy. Here's a preview from New York's senior senator, as quoted in the Times:

A group of Democratic senators ... sought to put pressure on Saudi Arabia, where Mr. Bush will be visiting this week, as they called on the Saudis to increase their oil production or face the possibility of Congress blocking a pending arms deal.

"We are saying to the Saudis that if you don't help us, why should we be helping you?" said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. "We are saying that the relationship has to be a two-way street. We are saying that we need real relief and we need it quickly."

Image via Albany Times Union

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