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Congress debates rise in gas prices _ again

Congressional Republicans and Democrats are again battling over rising gas prices. At a hearing Wednesday, Republicans and oil industry leaders called for more U.S. production, while Democrats focused on conservation and the role of Wall Street speculators.

Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, told a House energy panel the nation has vast energy resources that aren’t being fully tapped. New leasing on federal lands is down by 44 percent, and the number of new wells drilled is down 39 percent, Gerard said.

And while President Barack Obama calls for “all-of-the-above” energy approach, he has threatened the oil and gas industry with billions of dollars in tax increases, Gerard said.

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