Lawmakers Demonstrate Commitment to Conservation

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With gas prices getting higher all the time, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been quick to show concern, and many have been jumping on the alternative-fuel bandwagon.  That includes top House Republicans, who held a press conference yesterday at a BP gas station to show their commitment to energy-efficient vehicles.  House Speaker Dennis Hastert and others rode to the media event in hydrogen-powered cars, and drove away in them, even.

Well, actually, they drove about a block, then got out of them and got back into their SUVs (or, as the Post described them, their "pre-positioned gas-guzzling armored SUVs") for the drive back to the Capitol.  Unsporting photographers were lying in wait and got pictures of the switch:

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert takes a ride in a hydrogen vehicle to demonstrate his commitment to alternative energy sources, and then...
Speaker Hastert before and after the press conference.

Hastert’s spokesman (of course the Speaker has a spokesman) said that Hastert had wanted to ride in the hydrogen car, but his security detail "demanded that he ride in the much more secure armored SUV."  South-east DC is a bit dangerous, yes, but it ain’t Baghdad.  Some wondered if the security detail was having Hindenburg flashbacks.

To be fair, lawmakers from both parties have been hypocritical about this.  As the Post itself pointed out, the GOP event "followed one by Senate Democrats on Wednesday, who rode in their gas guzzlers to an Exxon station a block from their offices to blame Republicans for high fuel prices."

Link: Washington Post (free registration required)