Congress must meet on energy

Published 11:12 pm Saturday, September 13, 2008

With a presidential race in full swing, partisanship between Republicans and Democrats has reached a fever pitch.

But now is time for both sides to stop drawing lines in the sand, open their minds to a compromise and meet in the middle on an issue that is among the most important to Americans: Energy costs.

With gas prices set to rise once again, the battle over whose ideological philosophies is correct will likely heat up.

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While it is impossible to lump every Republican or Democrat completely into either category, the general division is fairly clear.

Republicans favor more offshore drilling and production of domestic oil. The Democrats talk more about investing in alternative energy sources.

But the answer is also as clear: We need both and we need to start now.

Leaders from both parties need to step to the plate and draft a plan that will encompass both these approaches and incorporate other ideas as well.

Sadly, this issue seems to be getting used as an election hot topic on which the parties and the candidates can tout their differences. Our nation needs them to find where they agree and stop playing politics with an issue that has such a profound impact on the country and millions of families.

According to the Associated Press, the Senate will soon debate at least three proposals that call for an expansion of offshore drilling — one being developed by Democrats, another by Republicans and a third by a bipartisan group. It remains to be seen if any of the proposals being considered will garner the needed 60 votes required to overcome an expected filibuster.

The time for talk has long since passed.

Senators have talked about it. Representatives have talked about it. Presidential and vice presidential candidates have talked about it.

The American people cannot help but talk about it.

The problem is clear. The answers are there, if our leaders are willing to open their eyes and their minds and start really looking for them instead of being blinded by politics.