John McCaslin

But now one congressman is warning that $8 a gallon isn't out of the question unless some drastic measures are taken soon. Writing an op-ed for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican, calls for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to "environmentally safe production," while increasing offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.

"Clearly, drilling for oil in Alaska or in the Gulf of Mexico is not a short-term solution, but if we continue down this course of inaction, we may still be discussing plans for rising energy costs when gas reaches, say, $8 per gallon," he says.

The congressman points out that the Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba.

Aiming high

What do a bowling alley and courtroom have in common?

That would be Melissa Rhea, who grew up in her family's bowling alley in small-town Alabama and went on to roll two perfect 300 games in tournament bowling.

Now, the senior trial lawyer in Washington, who works at the malpractice law firm of Jack H. Olender & Associates, has received the D.C. Trial Lawyers Association's coveted "Trial Lawyer of the Year" award.

Reached yesterday, Mr. Olender was not surprised with Ms. Rhea's selection.

"The same work ethic and determination that made Melissa excel as a champion bowler has enabled her to become a champion in court," he explains. "It's always 'practice, practice, practice.' "

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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