Gas Prices and the Senate Race

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Every Mississippi driver has an opinion on what to do about high gas prices.
And the same goes for the two candidates who want to fill Trent Lott's term in the U.S. Senate. Lott resigned in late 2007.

Both Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove say they think their ideas can help Mississippians.

One thing's for sure; the price of gas could be the deciding factor in who wins come November.

The solutions to high gas prices may be as numerous as cars on the interstate, but the end result is always the same, lower prices at the pumps.

"It's hurting people in Mississippi," said driver, Dwight Henry.

Henry got a little more than five gallons for his $20 bill. That's better than he got just a few weeks ago, but still not enough, he says.

Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove both believe they can help.

"I'm for every alternative that we can think of to move us away from dependence on foreign oil," said Sen. Wicker, who was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve until the special election is held.

Wicker has co-authored the Gas Price Reduction Act with senior Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran. It calls for more offshore drilling, shale oil exploration in Rocky Mountain states, and more transparency on Wall Street speculators.

"We haven't done what we're capable of doing as Americans with our vast supply of energy," Wicker said.

"Even Paris Hilton has a better energy plan than Roger Wicker," said Musgrove.

The former governor, who served one term until Barbour defeated him in 2003, says Wicker has been in Washington for 14 years with gas prices steadily rising. He said it's time for a new direction.

"President Bush needs to release at least 500 thousand barrels of oil a day from the strategic petroleum reserve," Musgrove said.

Still, the Wicker and Musgrove plans may be overshadowed by something more influential.

Henry said he's listening to his bank account, not politicians.

Wicker and Musgrove do agree that the U.S. needs to drive away its dependence on foreign oil.

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