Gas prices are approaching $4 a gallon and oil prices are above $100 a barrel, leading politicians in Washington and statehouses to propose a flurry of legislation. Some proposals strive to quell voter angst while others might balance budgets by raising gas prices. Meanwhile, wind, biofuel, nuclear, and oil industries are lobbying Congress to support more domestic energy production. Many of the proposals are longer-range and thus unlikely to affect short-term gas prices, energy economists say.
With US energy production booming, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska is leading the charge to overturn a decades-old ban on US crude oil exports. Murkowski met with the Obama administration this week to discuss oil condensate exports and the prospect of further loosening the oil export ban.
Subsidies for wind energy end at midnight Dec. 31, but Democrats are pushing for renewal of wind's production tax credit for 2014. Opponents say the subsidies are costly and inefficient.