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Bush Calls on Congress to Act on Economy, Energy

President Bush on Tuesday called on Congress to act on his economic and energy proposals. He offered this analysis of gasoline prices and the state of the U.S. economy: "The past 18 months, gas prices have gone up by $1.40 a gallon. Electricity prices for small businesses and families are rising as well. I repeatedly submitted proposals to address these problems, and time after time, Congress chose to block them."

Speaking at a White House news conference Tuesday morning, the president said one solution to the energy crisis would be drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR.

"This is a litmus test issue for many in Congress," President Bush said. "Somehow, if you mention ANWR, you don't care about the environment. Well, I'm hoping now people, when you say ANWR, it means you don't care about the gasoline prices."

Is the refuge any closer to being drilled than it was a few years ago? To answer that and other questions about the president's speech, Steve Inskeep talks with NPR Economics Correspondent John Ydstie.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.