Like Republican Senator John McCain, Obama's been flip-flopping on energy policy as polls drive both candidates toward their November showdown. Obama has, in the past, taken a position against opening new areas to drilling. This weekend, the Obama campaign said progress on Capitol Hill for a new energy bill has led him to moderate his stance on drilling. Under this new plan being lobbied by a group of centrist Congressional leaders, limited new drilling would be allowed so long as it's tied to the conversion of American cars and trucks to alternative fuels.
The Senator from Illinois also says he'd tap the nation's strategic oil reserves to push prices down. As he swings through the Midwest this week, Obama's expected to come out in favor of dumping some light crude oil from the reserve and rebuild it with heavy crude that's better suited for domestic use, the AP reports. President Bush has kept the 700-million-barrel reserve intact, as it has been since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, saying that it's needed for national emergencies.
And in a pure sop to voters, Obama says he'd also tap the profits of the oil companies to fund a $1,000 rebate for consumers affected by high energy prices.
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