In the opening moments, a black cab driver tells an interviewer the idea of paying 57 cents more per gallon in gasoline taxes is "outrageous."
In the final fadeaway, Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), standing atop the roof of a aolar-heated Washington office building, solemnly asures the viewers that dispite what they may have heard from the President, "The sky is not falling on our country."
Those scenes frame a 30-minute prime-time political special, in which the Republican National Committee has investedbetween $20,000 and $25,000 of "production values," in hopes of holding a big audience for its rebuttal to President Carter's energy program.
The program, "Energy: ANother View," which airs tonight at 8 on Channel 4, represents an innovative effort by the opposition party to find an answer to the problem of competing with the President on television.
When NBC offered the Republicans a half-hour in which to respond to Carter's April speeches on the energy crises, national chairman Bill Brock and his communications director, Peter Teeley, decided to break out of the traditional format of a party spokesman sitting benind a desk.
They hired Mark Goode, a onetime television consultant ot President Nexon, and Dave Gregen, President Ford's communications director, to produce a half-hour documentary.
IN the opening sequence, Rep, Jack Cunningham (R-Wash.), who used his opposition to Carter's standby gasoline tax proposal as a key issue in winning a Democratic House seat in Scattle in a special election last month, interviews customers at a District of Columbia gas station. At least in the GOP film, their views of the gas tax range from "crazy" to "It stinks."
Former Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman Jr. is shown in the Washington subway, lamenting that Carter "didn't even consult his own Transportation Secretary when he developed his so-called energy program."
Brock appears briefly to assure viewers that Republicans will meet energy needs, not by raising taxes but by an unspecified blend of conservation, production and research incentives.
And Ronald Reagan looks out from his hilltop home in California and says: "We're not running out of anything - except confidence in ourselves. Our problem isn't a shortage of fuel; it's a surplus of government."