Donna Williams wondered Tuesday what produced more hot air, the steamy
July weather or the politicians gathered at two Dallas gas stations to
talk about reducing fuel prices.
Williams had just put $20 in his Ford Escape at Fuel City on Industrial
Boulevard. Back in 2001, that was enough to fill up. Now, a full tank
takes nearly $70.
need to do something now," said Mr. Williams, a 43-year-old school bus
driver from Dallas. "We don't need any more talk. These gas prices are
killing the poor."
Williams looked toward five Democratic candidates for local
congressional offices and shouted the only thing that might get drivers
interested in the political grandstanding.
"Are they giving away free gas?" she asked.
was political grandstand day in Dallas for Democrats and Republicans
looking to push their party's plans to bring down the gas prices that
are crippling the economy and exacerbating the plight of the poor.
newly opened Green Spot Market and Fuels in East Dallas, Republican Sen.
John Cornyn urged Congress to adopt a GOP plan for deep-sea exploration
in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and in western shale areas.
He pulled up in an aide's Chevy TrailBlazer, which the aide said costs $72 to fill up.
use more of what God gave us right here in America, rather than buying
it from abroad and enriching people who are not friendly to the United
States?" Mr. Cornyn said.
Fuel City, Democratic congressional candidates Tom Daley, Ken Leach,
Glenn Melancon, Tom Love, Eric Roberson and Tracey Smith called on
Congress to require the identification of all U.S. oil traders to curb
improper speculation and increase the oil supply by requiring those
holding governmental oil leases to use them or lose them.
Democrats, all running uphill battles against North Texas Republican
incumbents, stood in front of an oil pump and near a small herd of cows
"No more bull," Mr. Roberson said. "It's time to tell the truth about oil. ... American needs solutions, not sound bites."
is, the politics of Big Oil are murky. But as the Republicans and
Democrats dueled over media time, area residents were making painful
trips to the pump.
The Democrats, for better or worse, helped some customers out – by helping to pump their gas.
the gas," said Juanita Smith, a 47-year-old Garland homemaker who says
she tired of paying close to $100 to fill up a large Isuzu SUV. "They
ain't doing nothing about it. All they are doing is talking."
At the Green Spot, 29-year-old Ashley George said elected leaders were too cozy with big oil companies.
The construction manager spends $200 a week to fill up her SUV. She blames taxes on gas.
And she summed up drivers' feelings in many fewer words than the politicians could.