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Democrats are pressing their demand that President George W. Bush set price limits on gas and electricity to help Californians deal with the energy crunch.
Rep. Anna Eshoo of California blasted President Bush for his failure to address the situation during his last trip to the state, Reuters reported.
"Californians were deeply disappointed about what President Bush didn't say," Eshoo said. "We were hoping that he would announce that he is taking immediate action and that price relief is on the way right now. Westerners would immediately see relief from generators who are gouging and gaming the system by withholding power we have available right now to drive up prices five, 10, even 20 times its market value."
Bush has rejected California Gov. Gray Davis' plea for federal caps on soaring electricity bills. Instead he has offered federal money to stimulate the building of more electrical lines running north and south through the state. "Price caps do nothing to reduce demand, and they do nothing to increase supply," the president told California business leaders.
But Eshoo said Bush's plans will not halt electric companies from raising prices to capitalize on the energy shortage. "All Americans are shouldering runaway prices at the gas pump," she said. "In the Midwest, people are paying as much as $2 a gallon for gas and some people are predicting prices could go as high as $3 a gallon before the end of summer. Please Mr. President, stand by consumers."