Milbank On the Hypocrisy of Congress
Here's one we can all
--Republican or Democrat--enjoy."Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled!" charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. "They are too cozy with the oil industry."
She then hopped in a waiting Chrysler LHS (18 mpg) -- even though her Senate office was only a block away.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) used a Hyundai Elantra to take the one-block journey to and from the gas-station news conference. He posed in front of the fuel prices and gave them a thumbs-down. "Get tough on big oil!" he demanded of the Bush administration.
And:Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) made a plea for conservation. "We have to move quickly to increase our fuel efficiency," she urged.
But not too quickly. After lunchtime votes, senators emerged from the Capitol for the drive across the street to their offices.
Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) hopped in a GMC Yukon (14 mpg). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) climbed aboard a Nissan Pathfinder (15). Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stepped into an eight-cylinder Ford Explorer (14). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) disappeared into a Lincoln Town Car (17). Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met up with an idling Chrysler minivan (18).
Next came Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), greeted by a Ford Explorer XLT. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Menendez had complained that Bush "remains opposed to higher fuel-efficiency standards."
Also waiting: three Suburbans, a Nissan Armada V8, two Cadillacs and a Lexus. The greenest senator was Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was picked up by his hybrid Toyota Prius (60 mpg), at quadruple the fuel efficiency of his Indiana counterpart Evan Bayh (D), who was met by a Dodge Durango V8 (14).
You know how it is: Don't do as we do, do as we say. I try not to use my car for short trips on the weekend; instead I hop on my mountain bike. Here's a suggestion for Congress: If you pass a law mandating higher fuel efficiency, how about mandating that all members use vehicles that meet that standard for their official business?