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Bush not planning to tap petroleum reserve to dampen gas prices

President Bush pushed for a comprehensive energy policy during a visit to Columbus Wednesday. The President says he understands public concern about rising gasoline prices but his spokesman says the White House won't tap an emergency petroleum supply in response to the problem. The president called on Congress to enact legislation that he says addresses both supply and conservation issues.

A number of Democrats have called on the president to release oil from the emergency reserve to ease tight market conditions, but the White House has repeatedly refused.

The impact of high energy prices is particularly high in manufacturing states like Ohio.

Bush's audience sat quietly through most of his speech as he spoke of technical alternatives like hydrogen fuel, biodiesel and clean coal.

But he drew loud applause from supporters when he said Congress should allow drilling in the Alaskan wildlife refuge. (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)