On the presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill, the debate over energy is fueling the latest war of words between Democrats and Republicans.
"American people are having a difficult time," said Representative Marsh Blackburn (R) from Tennessee.
In a rare move, a group of house Republicans took to the shuttered house floor this morning to protest their Democratic colleagues' adjourning for vacation Friday without voting on an energy bill. "Speaker Pelosi brings this Congress back to D.C. give up or down vote on energy vote that includes more access to oil," said Mike Pence (R) from Indiana.
With gas prices still hovering near $4 dollars a gallon, the idea of tapping off- shore oil reserves is gaining new life. Both John McCain and Barack Obama, who were initially against drilling, now believe its time has come.
"We need to drill now and drill immediately," said McCain.
"Obviously that's something that you know I would consider," said Obama.
In an Obama TV ad, released Monday, the candidate accuses McCain of wanting to give big oil $4 billion dollars in tax breaks, and running a campaign partially funded by them. "Every time you fill your tank, the oil companies fill their pockets, now big oil's filling John McCain's campaign with $2 million dollars in contributions."
The McCain campaign accuses Obama of hypocrisy claiming the Democrat not only voted for the bill granting the tax breaks, he also accepted $400,000 dollars in campaign contributions from big oil.