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Senators spar on energy plan

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri's two U-S Senators are taking opposing sides on an energy bill sent to the Senate late Tuesday night.

The bill allows states to determine if they want to allow drilling in waters 50 miles off their coastlines..

Republicans like Senator Kit Bond are calling the bill a "sham," since most credible sources say the largest oil supplies are 25 miles off shore. Bond says the Democrats are stifling efforts to move the country toward energy independence.

"And guess what, they brought us four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline," he said in a weekly conference call.

In her weekly press call, Bond's Democratic counterpart Claire McCaskill accused the Republicans of moving the goalposts.

"It's almost like they don't want it to happen so they can keep complaining about it," she said, calling the GOP stance "significant gamesmanship."

Republicans in the U-S House spent the recent Congressional recess making speeches to an empty chamber on the need to expand drilling.

Bond also rejected the need for a new economic stimulus package. A $68 billion proposal expected to be introduced in the U-S House would include money for infrastructure projects and aid for low-income people struggling to pay energy bills.

Bond called the proposal a "knee-jerk" reaction that won't help the economy.

"The money in the stimulus package doesn't get credit flowing again, doesn't get businesses investing, doesn't get people jobs," he said.

Bond says Congress instead should focus its attention on passing the federal budgets.

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