MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson blamed high fuel prices on the Clinton-Gore administration Saturday, saying consumers are being ''Gored'' at the pump.
''How have we stumbled to this point?'' Thompson said in the weekly GOP radio address, taped Friday. ''It's quite simple. President Clinton and Al Gore have completely failed to develop an energy policy to lead our nation into the new century, and each and every one of us is paying for it.''
Thompson said the Clinton-Gore administration's failure to decrease the country's dependence on foreign oil and open up exploration of domestic oil sources have led to higher fuel prices across the nation.
The soaring prices have been particularly severe in the Milwaukee and Chicago area, where prices peaked at more than $2 a gallon in June.
The high fuel prices have become a favorite political issue in the presidential campaign. Presumptive GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush has started quoting a passage from Gore's 1992 book ''Earth in the Balance'' in which the vice president states his support for higher fuel taxes.
Thompson, a longtime Bush supporter, struck a similar theme, claiming Gore's support of higher fuel taxes means he supports higher fuel bills that will lead to more expensive summer vacations and higher air conditioning costs.
He also said the only answer to the rising fuel prices is to decrease the country's dependency on foreign oil and open up exploration of domestic oil sources.
''I'll tell you one thing Al Gore did help invent: Higher gas prices,'' said Thompson, who Bush picked to chair the GOP convention platform committee and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. ''Well, it won't work. The American people realize that gas prices won't drop to an acceptable level until we develop a strong energy policy that allows us to deal with foreign nations while taking advantage of our resources at home.''
Gore has countered by accusing the Republican-led Congress of sitting on legislation that would improve energy efficiency and conservation. But he has saved his strongest attacks for the oil companies, which he says have been earning huge profits and may be guilty of price gouging.
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