David Freddoso on the Dems and drilling; BUMPED; Update II added -- Obama: Save gas; "inflate your tires"
On September 30 — two months from today — the ban on fossil-fuel drilling off America’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and in the oil-shale fields of the West will expire. Democrats, who control both houses of Congress, must pass an appropriations bill extending the bans.
The onus, in other words, is on them. Democrats will likely propose a continuing resolution to extend funding for the government through the end of the calendar year without making major changes. This bill will certainly include a continuation of the drilling ban — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), a zealous opponent of offshore drilling since the 1980s, has resisted all attempts to change it.
Democrats are sufficiently committed to maintaining the ban that they could even be willing to force a government shutdown in September, or dare the Republicans to force one. But if Republicans are equally committed to increasing the domestic-energy supply, and President Bush is willing to use his veto pen, they have a golden opportunity.
This is the message of Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), who is urging the president and his congressional colleagues to take a risk and fight for drilling here at home. “If President Bush wants a domestic legacy, it has to be on this issue,” DeMint told National Review Online Tuesday. “This is the final few seconds of the game as far as his administration goes, and we’re down seven points. We can’t just keep running up the middle. It’s time to throw the Hail Mary.”
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said that it would be premature to discuss the president’s position before Congress comes up with a concrete plan for appropriations bills. “It’s a hypothetical,” he said. “It’s too early to say what they’ll do.” Success will depend on President Bush’s willingness to fight. He left conservatives hanging recently by relenting on his threatened veto of the housing bailout. If he chooses a similar course of compromise with respect to drilling, he will have allowed congressional Democrats to continue their current approach of willful neglect of U.S. energy prices.
DeMint’s idea is just beginning to receive some discussion and attention on Capitol Hill, where his bombthrowing ways have not always endeared him to some important Republican colleagues. DeMint acknowledges that there are risks in forcing a showdown on energy policy, but that the battle would also be fought on the field where Republicans are most likely to win. “It is the only issue that could change the tide of this election, which is going against us right now,” he said.
Folks, this IS the election issue this year. It is the make-or-break issue for both sides. What's not surprising is that the Democrats, apparently, are too dense to realize that if they just gave in and committed to opening up the OCS that they'd put the stake through the heart of the GOP this election. Senator Schumer sent out a video plea a couple months ago, imploring donors to help him ensure a 57 seat majority in the Senate. If he wants that, then he better pull Harry Reid aside in one of the cloak rooms, and explain the situation to him.
"Listen Harry, we need to win in November, so pull your head out of your @$$ already."
At least, that's what I'd tell him, but he isn't listening. He doesn't want to listen. He and Nancy Pelosi -- the Democrat leaders in Congress -- are beholden to a radical environmental lobby. Those weenies don't want us drilling. They want us riding bicycles, living in dark, hot homes, and basically reverting back to the 1700s. Environmentalists have made a mountain out of a mole hill and they've based it all on lies and deception. Remember the crying Indian commercial back in 1971? I do because it was popular throughout the 1970s, and it helped spurn on the growing environmental movement. Since then, environmentalists have gotten more funding, and gotten much bolder in keeping Congress at the end of their puppet strings.
67% of Americans want Congress to lift the bans, increase domestic production, and bring down the price of oil and gas. T. Boone Pickens has recently been running ads on the radio about wind power; a noble effort, and a smart move towards alternative energy. But he's also called for drilling everywhere because, unlike the enviro-weenies and Democrats in congress, he understands that this nation -- the whole world -- runs on oil. He recently stated in an interview with Sean Hannity that government vehicles -- both state and federal ones -- should be retrofitted to run on natural gas, which would lower the demand for gasoline. The same goes for companies that deliver goods to people and stores, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser, etc. The average person can't afford to get a natural gas car, but the government and business can.
Ridding this nation of the ban would help move us in the right direction. It would help us become energy independent, which is something that John McCain made as the cornerstone of his campaign earlier this month. It is also the noose being closed around the necks of the Democrats right now. People are fed up with this obstruction on their behalf, and if the Democrats aren't careful it could cost them dearly in November. The GOP has picked up this football, and they're running with it. If the Democrats extend the ban, and refuse to listen to the electorate, the electorate will not be kind to them in the fall.
ADDENDUM: Breaking over at NRO -- The Dems have shut down debate on drilling again -- Mark Hemingway reports:
A G.O.P. Press Release [emphasis mine]:
Do-Nothing Democrats Vote to Adjourn House of Representatives Without Taking Action to Lower Gas Prices
Putnam: "It's Time Democrats Put Their Boarding Passes Back in Their Pockets"
WASHINGTON – Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), Chairman of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement shortly after the House of Representatives voted 213-212 – with no Republicans voting in the affirmative – to adjourn for five weeks in August and September without taking action to lower gas prices and break our dependence on foreign oil:
"The Democratic Congress should be held in contempt for voting to skip town without dealing with America's energy crisis.
"Democrats are out of touch, out of excuses, out of support and out of time. Americans are hurting. Independent polls show they overwhelmingly support House Republicans' all-of-the-above energy solutions.
"It's time Democrats put their boarding passes back in their pockets and get to work by voting on the American Energy Act."
The Democrats' obdurate obstinence on energy issues and gas prices is really going to hurt them if they don't wise up soon. Not taking action on this is a gift to Republicans up for election. They can now spend the next five weeks on the campaign trail railing against their opponents for not doing anything about gas prices.
That's the point I made this morning. If the Democrats want to play this game, then let's make sure they lose, that they're seriously hurt (politically; I'm not advocating violence), and that they learn the lesson of who is in charge of the nation. It's not them. We're in charge, and it's time they learned that, once and for all.
ADDENDUM II: I just couldn't let this go. Our "savior" has an energy plan that is "snort-worthy." Captain Ed has the video (and the stunned silence of the crowd). Here's what he said:
There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!
Go watch the video. I'm not kidding. There were crickets chirping after he finished that statement, and nothing shows his lack of intelligence more than that statement. Captain Ed breaks it down:
Er, no it couldn’t. The Green River oil shale formation could produce at least 800 billion barrels of oil alone, enough for over 100 years at our current rate of consumption (20 million barrels per day). Would inflating our tires eliminate every single drop of oil we use? Of course not! Nor would it save any significant amount at all. Tire inflation could improve gas mileage by about 3%, which would relate to about 600,000 barrels of oil a day at the most absurdly optimistic extrapolation.
Maybe the Democrats could use a tune-up on energy policy. It looks like they’re still stuck in the 1970s, with tired, worn-out points and bad timing. On energy, Obama is your father’s 1973 Oldsmobile.
Geraghty the Indispensable tries to slap some sense into this empty-headed politician:
So it would indeed be nice if Americans pumped up their tires sufficiently, and we started seeing some of that 4.9 million to 6.5 million gallons saved per day. But why it has to be an either/or in regards to the 1.6 trillion gallons of gasoline in the OCS (not even getting into ANWR), as Obama insists, is not clear.
Only a fool could offer such a pathetic idea when the nation doesn't want drilling, just to increase our supply, but to become energy independent. Additionally, there is the idea that drilling and refining more oil -- putting it out on the open market -- will drive down oil prices to numbers much lower than what we had when President Bush came into office.
This is the point that the "Don't Drill Democrats" don't get, or could care less about. They scream and yell about alternative forms of energy (except nuclear, of course), and they miss the boat with the notion. NONE of the alternative energy today is economical for the average person, and the only one that makes sense for industry to convert to is natural gas. Wind, solar, electricity ... They're not economical for the average person whether it's in their vehicle or powering their home. The costs right now would simply be too much for the consumer. Drilling makes all the sense in the world, on so many levels, and Barack Obama and his colleagues just refuse to believe it, understand it, and are instructed by their enviro-weenie masters to ignore it.