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Mr. Barbour cited 2008 comments from Steven Chu, now President Obama’s energy secretary, that a gradual increase in gasoline taxes could coax consumers into dumping their gas-guzzlers and finding homes closer to where they work.
“This administration’s policies have been designed to drive up the cost of energy in the name of reducing pollution, in the name of making very expensive alternative fuels more economically competitive,” Mr. Barbour said during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce breakfast across the street from the White House.
Survey: Economy expands across U.S.
The U.S. economy expanded in January and early February in all parts of the country, but businesses are under pressure to raise their prices.
A Federal Reserve survey shows that all 12 of the Fed’s regions reported growth at a “modest to moderate pace,” though growth in the Chicago region was slower than at the end of last year.
Retail sales picked up in all regions, except for Richmond, Va., and Atlanta. Factory activity rose in all districts except St. Louis.
The survey hints at some inflationary concerns. Costs are rising for manufacturers and retailers in most areas. Manufacturers in many districts said they are increasingly able to pass on those costs to customers. Retailers in some districts said they have or soon will raise prices.
Agency cracks down on untested cold remedies
The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it will remove roughly 500 unapproved cold and allergy medications from the market as part of an ongoing crackdown on ineffective prescription drugs.
The FDA requires companies to submit all new prescription drugs for scientific review before they are launched. However, thousands of drugs actually predate the FDA’s drug regulations and have escaped scrutiny for decades.
Most of the drugs targeted by the latest action are pills using untested combinations of decongestant and cough-suppressing ingredients. Since most Americans buy their cold medicines over the counter, the prescription medicines cited by the FDA represent a small portion of the market.
The agency said manufacturers who have not registered their products with the agency must halt production and shipments immediately.
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