The high cost of gasoline is getting a great deal of attention in Congress and by the White House. President Bush in a speech to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) praised the importance of ethanol and biodiesel. He announced a number of steps the administration is taking to try and provide some short-term relief.

They include: 1) halting the purchase of crude oil for the government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve program for the summer; 2) federal tax credits for hybrid and clean-diesel vehicles sold in 2006; 3) Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether there has been manipulation of gasoline prices; 4) ask EPA to use its authority to ease environmental regulations that require the use of cleaner-burning fuel additives for the summer; and 5) ask Congress to approve incentives for research and development to advance more alternative fuels, such as ethanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen. -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent