Bentsen Wants Summit to Form U.S. Energy Policy

Article excerpt

Alluding to a newly formulated energy policy, Democratic vice presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen Tuesday called for a five-point energy summit to formulate national policy.

"If Michael Dukakis is elected to the White House," Bentsen said, "as soon as he moves in there will be a five-point energy summit and you can bet that Lloyd Bentsen will be the chairman.

"We will use that summit to turn the energy situation in this country around."

Bentsen, a senator from Texas, also unleashed a new get-tough campaign policy during a brief rally in downtown Oklahoma City.

He accused the Republicans of "bailing out the big banks while small banks went under," selling off assets "at fire-sale prices, which hurt home values" and ignoring needs of the family farmer and the energy industry in Oklahoma.

After the 20-minute speech before a two-story-tall American flag in front of Leadership Square, Bentsen attended a fund-raising reception and a press conference for "selected" newspaper editors.

Although only about 700 spectators were on hand during preliminary speeches and introductions of Oklahoma politicians and civic leaders, the crowd swelled shortly after Bentsen's arrival to about double its size.

Spectators began arriving shortly before 10 a.m. as city police blocked off N. Robinson St. for three blocks and Couch Drive for one block.

In an apparent well-organized event, most of the spectators carried small American flags, rapidly becoming one of the most visible issues of the campaign, and professional and home-made signs. Large banners greeted Bentsen, welcoming him to his neighboring state.

A handful of young Bush-Quayle supporters stood outside the ring of Democrats, many carrying hand-lettered signs denouncing Dukakis. Throughout the rally, hecklers individually shouted at Bentsen, who ignored the comments.

In his first campaign visit to Oklahoma, Bentsen took on Ronald Reagan, for what Bentsen called the lack of farm and energy policy, and Dan Quayle. The only time he attacked Bush was as a part of the "Reagan-Bush administration."

"When he (Bush) took office eight years ago," Bentsen said, "there were 755 (oil) rigs operating in Oklahoma. Today there are 129.

"That's what he's done for energy. …