Watching Government: The senator and the secretary

Pres. Bill Clinton's decision to sell 30 million bbl from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve set the stage for more jousting recently between Energy Sec. Bill Richardson and Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alas.)Richardson, of course, is the administration's point man on energy policy. Murkowski, as Senate energy and natural resources committee chairman, is the Republican Party's key energy legislator.Last week, Murkowski held a hearing on the outlook for heating and transportation fuels this winter. His questioning of Richardson was as purely political as the president's SPR decision had been.The give-and-take continued a running battle the senator and the secretary have waged fo...

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