Nation: Compromise

The basis of energy politics

A needlepoint sampler with the phrase THE BASIS OF POLITICS IS COMPROmise used to decorate House Speaker Thomas (Tip) O'Neill's office. Now it sits in Energy Secretary James Schlesinger's office, a trophy of a limited but significant victory last week in the bitter war over energy policy.

By close votes—congressional compromises tend not to be unanimous—Senate and House conferees approved a plan to phase out federal price controls on natural gas. Fondling the needlepoint, Schlesinger exulted: "This is the end of the Thirty Years' War." It has indeed...

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