FROM Eric Smith
To Drill or Not to Drill The price of oil crossed the $100-a-barrel threshold at the first of this year. Last week, it hit a record $147, then dropped below $130. But it's creeping up again today. Nobody expects to see $100 a barrel ever again. That means high gasoline prices are here to stay. From President Bush on down, Republicans are advocating an end to the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling. High gas prices are increasing public support, even though there would be no direct impact for decades. We hear from Congressmen on both sides of what's shaping up as a major election-year issue. Would the declared intention to expand domestic supplies send the right message to oil producers and speculators around the world? Should oil companies drill first on land they've already leased? What about seizing the moment to get off oil and deal with global warming?
Is California Ready to Rethink Offshore Oil Drilling? Offshore oil drilling is almost an abstract issue in California, except in Long Beach and Santa Barbara, where giant rigs dominate the scenery. Now the high price of gasoline has John McCain campaigning to end the federal moratorium on offshore drilling—in those states that approve it. Governor Schwarzenegger is opposed to the idea. State Democratic leaders today denounced it. But as many as 5.6 billion barrels of oil might be available off California—along with 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.