Oil Cost Driving Energy Policy Shift

Congress begins work Tuesday on a bill to boost production and conservation.

Published: 05-Apr-2005

N class=dateline>WASHINGTON - For a generation Americans have commuted, heated their homes, manufactured goods, and expanded foreign trade without any major overhaul of energy policy.

Proponents of oil exploration and conservation never went away, but their urgings were muffled by an era of relatively cheap oil.

Now the momentum is finally shifting.

With crude oil topping $55 a barrel and 55 Republicans in the US Senate - up from 50 before the November elections - major energy legislation now appears much more likely to pass than it did even a year ago.

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