Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pelosi's energy bait-and-switch

She claims to be offering a bill that will permit more offshore drilling. The oil-company shills at the Institute for Energy Research say that

Of the 18 billion barrels of oil locked-up by current bans, the new plan allows access to less than four, and perhaps as little as 2 billion barrels. And without revenue sharing, even the four states most lilely to allow production - Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia - would not do so.
Beware of complicated schemes offered by Democrats. Are the Dems sufficiently smart to be planning to save U.S. oil for later, after the Mideast oil is all gone, and also sufficiently subtle and disciplined that they have not breathed a word of this plan to a single member of the press? Oh, umm … nah. But why they want to handcuff the economy of their own country just beats the heck out of me. I would have understood it if it had been offered a year or two ago, as part of the plan to tank the economy and lose the war, in order to provide talking points for the current election campaign. But now, with the election so close? It is a puzzlement.

Marlo Lewis has more, at Planet Gore.

Update: Iain Murray calls this Energy Gangsterism: "This is not a compromise. It is a sell-out to the anti-energy gangsters."

Another update: Pelosi's bill passed, and it's off to the Senate. But there is another offshore drilling ban expiring Oct. 1. Stephen Spruiell says that the anti-drilling faction will use the financial crisis as a distraction to get the ban extended (here, and a follow-up).

Yet another update (via the Instapundit):
Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in an months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election.…

The congressional battle over offshore drilling is far from over. Democrats are expected to press for broader energy legislation, probably next year, that would put limits on any drilling off most of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Republicans, meanwhile, are likely to fight any resumption of the drilling bans that have been in place since 1981.

"The future resolution of offshore drilling will have to be addressed with a new president," Drew Hamill, spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
So the bill passed last week was empty noise? I guess. Spruiell says it was a trial balloon.

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