Gas Price War Continues at Florida Capitol

Now they want the gas company execs called in to testify, but it may be more about politics than a real effort to save you money at the pumps.

Gas prices in Florida hit a record-high average of a $1.75 a gallon for regular unleaded this month. Democrats are now calling for Senate hearings into the price spike. They want oil execs to explain under oath what's really behind rising prices.

“Is it true that gas prices are surging because of high demand for oil in China? Is it true because of a barge accident on the Mississippi that we're being gouged at the pump? We don't know. We'd like to get answers on this, and if it is true, then the public has a right to know about it,” says Sen. Dave Aronberg, (D) Green Acres, FL.

The senators point to last year's medical malpractice insurance hearings, when testimony under oath showed who was lying and who was telling the truth.

Senate President Jim King says it's awfully late in the session to call for hearings, but he wouldn't rule it out.

“If there was something to be gained from that, I mean if there was something positive we could do, I'd be interested in doing it," says King.

Most motorists will agree something needs to be done about sky-high gas prices, but many of these same concerns are raised year after year. The question becomes, is this a legitimate effort to bring down prices, or just election-year politicking?

The democrats admit it's a juicy issue for politicians who would love to unseat President George Bush.

Sen. Ron Klein, Senate Minority Leader, says, “We need to have a national debate. If it's during the presidential election year that's the time to do it because gas prices have spiked, good.”

Still, the democrats admit the only real solution to the gas crunch may be pushing Congress to require fuel-efficient cars. Senate democrats are joining with the state of Arizona in calling on President George Bush to launch a federal probe into the gas price spike.


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