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Inside Politics

Talk at A&M on gas prices and election

By Sonia Moghe
Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Editor's Note: Campus Vibe is a feature that provides student perspectives on the 2004 election from selected colleges across the United States. This week's contributor is Sonia Moghe, news editor at The Battalion, the student newspaper at Texas A&M University. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of CNN, its affiliates or Texas A&M University.

The Roughneck
"The Roughneck" bronze statue at A&M depicts an oil field worker.

• See more work by Sonia Moghe and her colleagues online at  The Battalionexternal link
Campus Vibe
Oil and Gas
John F. Kerry
George W. Bush

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (CNN) -- Sen. John Kerry's accusations that President Bush's policies favor the oil industry, contributing to the high cost of gasoline, won't affect how many Texas A&M students will vote in the presidential election.

"The price of gas is outrageous, but that will not have an influence on who I vote for," senior Natalie Younts said.

Younts works two jobs as she pays her way through college, and says the increase in prices is hitting her particularly hard.

"I cringe every time I have to fill up," she said. "[But] I just simply don't link that to the president. It mainly has to do with OPEC, not the U.S. president."

Melissa Sullivan, who graduated from A&M in May, said gas prices will not influence her vote because there are so many other factors to consider.

"This being the second president I get to vote for, I learned over the [past] four years that I need to pay attention to the whole picture, not just one factor," she said.

Several students, including junior David Anderson, believe that there was little Bush could have done to prevent the rise in gasoline prices.

"Prices are rising because of expectations," Anderson said. "If we have it in our heads that oil is going to do well and we start putting dollars into it, then the prices will iron out."

Bush has proposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as a solution, but Younts thinks the United States should look elsewhere to solve the problem.

"The best solution [for the gasoline price problem] would be to put more money into research to find other cost-effective ways to power cars," Younts said. "And we need to make them affordable for the average consumer."

Exploring alternatives

Charles Walters, a junior, thinks Kerry will do a better job of controlling gasoline prices.

"I think it's about time somebody start moving in" the direction of alternative fuel research, Walters said. "I thought Bush made a smart choice by encouraging [research], too. He's just not the man to carry that to term."

Senior Chris Carlin thinks that no matter who gets elected, progress toward energy independence will be slow.

"Alternative fuel research has been going on forever," Carlin said. "It's not going to change whether or not we put federal funds toward it."

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