July 28, 2008

Pelosi's Too Busy Getting a Pedicure to Call for a Vote on Offshore Drilling.

Okay; I don't know what she was doing instead, but even the WaPo asks "If drilling opponents really have the better of this argument, why are they so worried about letting it come to a vote?"

No; I do not think that drilling on the OCS is the most important part of the set of solutions we need to deploy against our energy problems; after all, the East Coast and the West Coast have less provable oil than ANWR does; only the Gulf is competitive with ANWR in its longterm potential.

But showing that America is serious about developing its own domestic alternatives is one of the actions we can take that will help in the short- and medium-term. (Along with increased use of methanol and ethanol, the mandating of flex-fuel technology in all vehicles, even for hybrids, and a handful of other measures, including increased use of natural gas, clean-burning coal, wind farms, and more nuclear reactors.)

Back to the WaPo:

WHY NOT have a vote on offshore drilling? There's a serious debate to be had over whether Congress should lift the ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf that has been in place since 1981. Unfortunately, you won't be hearing it in the House of Representatives -- certainly, you won't find lawmakers voting on it -- anytime soon.

Instead of dealing with the issue on the merits, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a staunch opponent of offshore drilling, has simply decreed that she will not allow a drilling vote to take place on the House floor. Why not? "What the president would like to do is to have validation for his failed policy," she said yesterday when asked that very question. "What we're saying is, 'Exhaust other remedies, Mr. President.' . . . It is the economic life of America's families, and to suggest that drilling offshore is going to make a difference to them paycheck to paycheck now is a frivolous contention. The president has even admitted that. So what we're saying is, 'What can we do that is constructive?' "

If there is an explanation buried in there about why that makes offshore drilling off-limits for a vote, we missed it. Ms. Pelosi is correct that drilling is no panacea for the nation's energy woes. The short-term effect of lifting the moratorium, if there were any, would be minimal. That doesn't mean the country shouldn't consider expanded drilling as one of many alternatives. There are legitimate concerns about the environmental impact of such drilling -- environmental concerns that, we would note, exist in other regions whose oil Americans are perfectly happy to consume. But have technological improvements made such drilling less risky? Why not have that debate?

When they took the majority, House Democrats proclaimed that "bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the Minority the right to offer its alternatives." Why not on drilling?

Meanwhile, the dispute has snarled progress on spending bills for fear of having drilling amendments attached. Citing "the uncertainty in how the oil and gas drilling issue is currently playing out on the Senate floor," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) called off committee consideration of spending bills on which Republicans were threatening to offer drilling amendments. The result threatens to be the first time since at least 1950 that lawmakers will go home for the August recess without either chamber having passed a single appropriations bill.

Have the vote, Pelosi. It's called "Democracy," and it is (as Martha would say) A Good Thing. Just ask Leonard Cohen

Posted by Attila Girl at July 28, 2008 01:51 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Dear Ms. Pelosi:

The Washington Post, which heretofore has functioned as a second mouth for the Democratic Party, has broken with you over drilling. They have made specific mention of the fact that you are not discussing the merits of drilling for more oil. They are remembering promises made by your fellow party members that now appear to be forgotten by those who spoke them.

In short, they are no longer talking like your second mouth.

You are in much bigger trouble than you thought.

Posted by: John at July 28, 2008 04:02 AM


She's just trying to save the planet.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/12122.html

Thirty blinks per second.

Posted by: Darrell at July 29, 2008 09:06 PM




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