Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Fuel Cost Blamed on Economy.

Byline: Michael Coleman Journal Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON Energy Secretary Bill Richardson tried to defuse criticism of the Clinton administration's energy policy Tuesday, arguing that a strong economy, not weak policy, is largely to blame for the recent spike in oil and gas prices.

During a speech to the National Press Club, the former New Mexico congressman said energy consumption has increased 14 percent during Clinton's time in office. The economy has allowed consumers to consume more gas and other energy sources, he said.

"In this last seven years, we have had a booming economy, with one of the down sides being a dramatic increase in energy demand," Richardson said. …

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