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Special Event

Gore Takes Questions on Plan to Lower Oil Prices

Aired September 22, 2000 - 2:39 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, now we are back to the presidential race. We dipped into a Gore event a few moments ago in Pennsylvania. Now he is taking questions on the price of oil and what to do about it.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To help the customers of this country, to help the middle-class families of this country, get some lower gasoline prices and lower home heating oil prices.

QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, when you say stabilize at a lower level, what is a fair price for with either gasoline or home heating oil?

GORE: I would prefer not to establish an exact price. Many have talked about a range. Opec, itself, has talked about the legitimacy of a goal, and even in their view of stabilizing the price of oil at a lower level. They have not followed through on their pledges to do that.

And the internal politics of OPEC are extremely complex, but we have waited and waited. And they have not -- they have not followed through. Whether they are able to or not, I do not know. But I do know that we have the capacity, in this country, to try to do something about this on our own. And that's why I'm calling for this action.

QUESTION: George W. Bush has continually said that your administration has no energy policy, and that has been one of the problems. There are a lot of oil analysts who say that the administration could have done a better job of negotiating over the long-term with OPEC and might have done something about consumption here in this country. Do you think that the administration should take some of the blame for high prices? and what would you do differently as the president?

GORE: Well, as Ron Klink said a moment ago, he is on the committee that handles the energy policy in Congress, since 1994, when the takeover of Congress took place by the other group, they have blocked and stalled and prevented the investments and renewable energy and the development of our own natural resources here that we have advocated year after year. I want to put this on the front burner in the midst of this campaign in part to seek a mandate to get the next Congress to act. I think this Congress ought to act.

Now, when you're talking about negotiations with OPEC, you know, the one thing that has a bigger impact on them than anything else, is when they see us gearing up to develop our own resources and become more independent of that pipeline through big oil to foreign oil. And the other side has prevented the development of those new technologies and resources, and that was just talked about earlier.

Yes.

ALLEN: All right, Al Gore at the close of his campaign event there in Pennsylvania. Reiterating his stance to reporters. Taking more questions on the oil situation. And earlier, as we told you, he reiterated that he believes that the government should tap into the petroleum reserve to try to drive down oil prices.

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