WASHINGTON – President Bush said Monday that he's troubled by rising gas prices and will take a look at proposals to relieve the crisis but warned that there is no quick fix.
"It's been a while in the making and it's going to be a while that we solve the problem," Bush said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America." "We're too dependent on foreign oil and we need to be exploring more at home."
Bush said the rising cost of gas "troubles me a lot" because it is "like a tax on the working people."
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican presumptive nominee John McCain have proposed, with variations, a summertime suspension of federal gas taxes. Other proposals include a windfall-profits tax on oil companies, supported by Clinton, Democratic rival Barack Obama and many other Democrats; and new refineries, nuclear power plants and drilling in the Alaska wilderness, supported by Bush.
"We'll analyze some of these suggestions, but the key is that we think long-term for America, that we diversify away from oil and we're wise and build new refineries and increase supply for the American consumers," Bush said in the interview on the White House grounds with his wife, Laura.
He said he understands the pinch for working families and that some people will cut back on summertime travel. The federal tax rebate on the way to taxpayers will help, he said.
"One way to help solve it, of course, is by sending some of the money back. That's what's happening now as we speak. There's a rebate going back to the American people, which should help," Bush said. He reiterated his call for Congress to make permanent the tax cuts enacted during his administration.