IT'S NO secret that Hurricane Katrina has upended Washington politics, rightfully making relief efforts the top priority. So re-labeling old ideas as a part of disaster recovery is the new political game.
The first, though not last, Shameless Award in putting the hurricane to other uses goes to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. He's tapping the oil refineries shut down by Katrina and higher pump prices to advocate for drilling in Alaska's Arctic edge.
Never mind that these supplies are seven to 10 years away. Never mind that the reserves may amount to only 4 percent of this nation's energy needs. Never mind that conservation and higher highway fuel economy are better answers to oil dependence than invading a wildlife refuge.