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1. ENERGY POLICY

Soaring oil prices become popular argument for just about anything

As the price of oil climbs over $100 a barrel, it's fueling arguments for congressional action from groups with very different agendas. The corn ethanol industry and farm groups say it underscores why Congress shouldn't block federal support for the biofuel. Wind's trade group argues that switching to plug-in vehicles powered by turbines would improve fuel independence. Securing America's Future Energy, a group of corporate executives and retired military personnel, seeks a slate of changes it believes will help shrink dependence on foreign petroleum. "When oil prices get high, it's just an opportunity for all of these folks with disparate interests to draw attention to their concerns," said Adele Morris, policy director for climate and energy economics at the Brookings Institution. "It's hugely popular" as a tactic, Morris added, because "even if there's no logical relationship it's always tempting to espouse your favorite technology as the solution."

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