As rising fuel costs continued to strain budgets across the
nation on Tuesday, May 2, Congress continued to debate exactly what should be
done about the problem.
While Congress debated, a school district in Rhea County, TN, cancelled classes on Friday, April 28, and Monday, May 2, to save money on
fuel for the district’s buses.
Brad Harris, finance director for Rhea County, told “Land
Line Now” that the district – which used two unused snow days for the
cancellation – spent $106,000 on fuel during the 2004-2005 school year, and
expects to spend between $145,000 and $150,000 this year.
While Congress debated, police in Memphis, TN, were being
asked to walk as much as possible to help curb fuel use, The Tennessean newspaper reported. And they aren’t the only ones. The Cincinnati Post reported that police departments in Ohio and Kentucky are encouraging similar
Meanwhile, ProMiles reported a national average price of
$2.926 for diesel on May 2, up slightly from the previous day.
And, in Washington, DC, the House of Representatives is
scheduled to consider two bills on Wednesday, May 3, that would establish
regulations against price gouging and would help speed the licensing process
for new oil refineries.
And in the Senate, Republicans planned to drop a proposed
tax increase for oil companies and other manufacturers from the energy
legislation package that is currently making its way through Senate committees.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist, R-MD, said he plans to remove the tax increase after an
outcry from retailers and manufacturers.
The tax money from the increase was to have funded a
proposed $100 tax rebate for American taxpayers, but The Journal reported
that Republicans backing the rebate are now looking for other funding options.
A spokeswoman for Frist told The Journal that the tax
increase could still come back later in the year.
The energy proposal also includes a controversial provision
that would allow drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and
would increase funding for research into alternative fuels and give the
president the authority to step up fuel economy standards for passenger cars.