The Hattiesburg American, 6/20/8

Some say it is exactly the clarion call that the country needs to heed in the age of $4-a-gallon gasoline.

Others place it in the category of brazen politics, a lead straw thrown to a nation drowning in the higher energy costs.

President George W. Bush’s request of Congress this week to OK the expansion of exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas along the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has stirred the petroleum pot, and brought a heady brew of political debate.

In Mississippi, some view the possibility of energy expansion as a potential boon to the state economy.

“It would be a very good thing for Mississippi,” State Treasurer Tate Reeves said. “The more of their income our people have to spend on gas, the less there is to spend in other areas.”