Republicans 'Fueling Anger' with Blockage of New Oil Tax

Screencap of, June 10, 2008 | NewsBusters.orgBlame do-nothing Republicans for high gas prices. That was the impression visitors to got this afternoon.

Among the "top headlines" lineup Web site editors included a story on "Fueling Anger" with the teaser headline: "Rejected! Big Oil Tax Gets Shelved." [see related post about's bias here]

The accompanying caption to the ABC photo illustration read, "With prices soaring, GOP halts Democrats' wide-ranging energy plan."

The article itself, by writer Z. Byron Wolf, was front-loaded with bias, slamming Republicans for their filibuster of a new windfall profits tax measure while dismissing the GOP's energy plan as ineffective in the short term (emphases mine):

With the average price of gas in the United States now above $4, Senate Republicans today rejected a plan by Democrats to give the president the authority to declare an "energy emergency" and sue OPEC nations, prosecute price gouging, assess a "windfall profits tax" on oil companies and cut down on speculation in the energy markets.

The Democratic proposal, called the "Consumer-First Energy Act," was a grab bag of measures that Democrats cobbled together a month ago as gas prices were rising. At the time, the plan was meant as a counter-measure to a Republican plan that sought to encourage domestic oil exploration. Democrats in May voted down the Republican oil exploration plan, which would have done little for gas prices in the short term.

Of course, Wolf conceded in the next paragraph, "The Democrats' plan would also have done little in the near term."

So why is it that Republicans opposing a new stab at a failed policy -- the windfall profits tax of the 1980s -- is "fueling anger" while Democrats blocking new measures to expand domestic oil reserves and hence cut into American dependence on foreign oil is not equally worthy of outrage?

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