Rice Analyst: Gas Prices Are Here to Stay

A Rice University scholar today told a group of lawmakers that high gas prices are here to stay and that Congress is not helping. Yanmei Xie reports from Washington.
Amy Myers Jaffe studies energy policy at the University's James Baker Institute. She presented to the House Committee on Energy Independence a long list of factors contributing to the soaring oil prices. That includes political uncertainty in oil producing countries, natural disasters, and speculators in the oil market. Jaffe says many of the problems won't go away overnight and many Americans don't understand that.

"America is like Wiley Coyote. He's run off the cliff and he's still spinning his legs. We are still on the level of land and we don't understand how deep the problem is. And thinking about Congress, you are like deer with your eyes in the headlights."

Despite her needling, the committee as well as Congress is paralyzed by partisan bickering. Republicans want more drilling in the US. Democrats call for more renewable fuel. Jaffe says the country needs both solutions. But the most powerful one, she says, is to make cars more fuel efficient.

From Capitol News Connection, I'm Yanmei Xie, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.