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Energy Secretary Feels Heat Over Gas Prices on Capitol HillAired June 27, 2000 - 1:04 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The Clinton administration's petroleum point man is Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, and Bill Richardson is feeling the heat again today up on Capitol Hill.
Here's CNN congressional correspondent Chris Black with more about that -- Chris.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson is back on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are up in arms over the high price of gasoline heading into the Independence Day holiday weekend. But today, Secretary Richardson opened his testimony with what he called good news. He said in the last week, the price of gasoline nationally had dropped by three cents, and in the hard-hit Middle West, by seven cents. He said the administration hopes that this is the start of a trend, but he conceded they have a long way to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL RICHARDSON, ENERGY SECRETARY: Prices are still unacceptably too high. We are working vigorously to bring them down. And my main message here is that we have to do this in a bipartisan fashion, that we need to take some steps. And the Congress needs to take some steps. And we have to resolve these problems together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Secretary Richardson said that crude oil production is actually three and a half million barrels higher this year than it was last year. But he also said that the demand for oil is higher than ever. Despite his call for bipartisanship, he had to wait almost an hour, through a lot of partisan finger-pointing by Democrats and Republicans in the House International Relations Committee before he could even speak.
The chairman of the committee, Ben Gilman of New York, slammed the Clinton-Gore administration for what he called a laissez-faire approach to the OPEC nations. But Democrats on the committee were quick to point out that Republicans on the committee and Republicans in the House have tried to abolish the Department of Energy -- Lou.
WATERS: Chris Black, up on the Hill.
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