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Does a national summer gas tax holiday really spell relief?

May 11, 2008
Reducing gasoline prices by 18.4 cents per gallon will provide little more than a psychological boost for American motorists.

Fuel prices, averaging about $3.60 a gallon, can fluctuate by 18.4 cents — up or down — within just a few weeks.

That is why proposals that the federal tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, should be suspended for the summer don’t make much sense.

President Bush, in telling reporters this week that he is open to considering any ideas that may help motorists, including suspension of the tax, pointed out what ought to have been obvious for years: Congress simply hasn’t taken actions with reasonable likelihood of decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Allowing exploration and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and making it easier for oil companies to build new refineries are two things Congress could do to affect gasoline prices, Bush pointed out.

But lawmakers have been unwilling to take such actions.

It is time for them to reconsider — to make a real impact on fuel prices.


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