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Columnist Thomas Friedman Calls for $1 a Gallon Gas Tax On "Today" Show

Thomas Friedman on Bush: "It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is."

NBC's "Today" show handed New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman a platform on Tuesday's show to rail against President Bush's "incoherent mess" of an energy policy and demanda $1/gallon gas tax, as well as a $4.50 price floor on gas.


"Today" co-host Meredith Vieira spurred on Friedman as she recited the most inflammatory passages from his Sunday column:


MEREDITH VIEIRA: Well in this column on Sunday, you don't hold back. You refer to the President as our "addict-in-chief." You say his energy plan is, "Get more addicted to oil." You go on to say, "It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is." What is it, Tom that, you find so offensive in his energy plan?


THOMAS FRIEDMAN: What is his energy plan? Let's remember, Meredith, that on the morning of 9/12, right after 9/11, gasoline in this country was $1.60 a gallon, between $1.60 and $1.80. A lot of people like myself, at the time, said we need to have a gasoline tax, a $1.00 gallon phased in over a year, year-and-a-half that will stimulate the kind of innovation and investment in alternatives so we won't be dependent on people who have drawn a bull's eye on our back. What did the President do? He told us to go shopping. So, we basically have an energy policy that Gal Luft has described, I think very accurately as the "sum of all lobbies." The ethanol lobby is strong, let's do a little ethanol! The coal lobby is strong, don't want to have a carbon tax. So it's actually a complete, incoherent mess. That has resulted where we are.


- Geoffrey Dickens is the senior news analyst at the Media Research Center.