Why Washington is no help at the pump

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the Congressional gridlock in the debate over an energy policy.


WASHINGTON — When it comes to energy policy, congressional Democrats and Republicans agree on a lot: High gasoline prices are bad.

They pose a serious threat to our fragile economic recovery. And there's too much demagoguery - and far too little problem-solving - going on in Washington.

They also agree, nearly every podium-hugging, media-blitzing chance they get, that the other side is to blame.

"As is so frequently the case, Congress seems more interested in partisan squabbling than in problem-solving," says Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University. "We have been talking about these issues since the Carter administration; it's time for something dramatic."

Right now, the only thing dramatic in the debate is the rhetoric. Each side cites reams of statistics to bolster its claims. Each side is pushing its own wish list, which has changed little since Barack Obama became president, despite last April's Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the subsequent fuel price spiral.

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