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Oil Prices Top Issue In Public Mind, Congress Feeling Pressure

07/17/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said anxiety over fuel oil costs is at crisis proportions in her state. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, said oil drilling advocates weighed in from the sidelines as she marched in a Fourth of July parade.

Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, heard it even closer to home, from his own teenager. "My daughter said, 'Dad, what are you going to do about gas prices?' " Mr. Casey said.

After spending a week in their states and districts with angry and frightened consumers, many lawmakers have returned to Capitol Hill convinced that Congress cannot afford a prolonged stalemate over energy policy.

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