A Lott of B.S.
Saying the U.S. is facing an energy crisis, Republicans in the Senate yesterday proposed an overhaul of the country’s energy policy that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling and provide billions of dollars of tax incentives and spending to spur additional domestic oil exploration. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said energy shortages and high energy prices were “perhaps the greatest threat to our future economic prosperity.” At the last minute, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), the chief sponsor of the energy bill, dropped from the measure one major tax break for oil companies. Never fear, though — Big Oil would still get lots of goodies under the current plan. Plus, the bill would put aside almost $100 million to back the expansion of nuclear power. It would also include a program to help low-income families pay energy bills and provide some tax incentives for consumers to use renewable energy sources.