…is the idea that the Democrats have an energy policy that makes sense. Via The Weekly Standard, CQ Politics notes that the House has passed a bill that ostensibly allows more offshore drilling. This is something that had been opposed by the Democrats’ paymasters in the radical environmental lobby and Speaker Pelosi, who earlier breathlessly told us we couldn’t drill because "I’m trying to save the planet."
The Democrats’ bill, which passed on a party-line vote without being vetted in committee and under a rule that forbids amendments (Isn’t that the kind of garbage you used to complain about, Nancy?), limits new drilling to areas more than 50 miles offshore (thus leaving untouched an estimated 18,000,000,000 barrels of oil) and gives states the final say-so over whether the drilling will occur off their coasts, but does not allow them to share in the tax revenue.
That, my friends, is called a "poison pill." It lets the Democrats look like they’re doing something about the outrageous restrictions we place on drilling in the US, while really knowing the drilling that they oppose will never take place. Why? Because no state is going to authorize drilling off its shores if it can’t share in the revenues generated. Here in California, we obsess over our lovely coastlines (irrationally so, I feel) and we’re sitting on top of a $17,000,000,000 deficit. Why on Earth would Sacramento risk angering environmental groups, which are very powerful here, if they can’t show an offsetting benefit in the form of deficit-reducing new revenues? Similar situations are true in other coastal states.
The national Democrats have staunchly opposed new drilling, even while we send hundreds of billions of dollars annually for oil to foreign governments that do not have our interests at heart. The cling desperately to chimerical fantasies such as rapid transitions to solar and wind power, which are in truth decades away from meeting our energy needs, if they ever can. And don’t get me started on their love for biofuels, which are contributing to a rapid rise in food prices, not to mention ecological damage.
Way to save the planet, Nancy.
Let’s face it, the Democratic leadership isn’t interested in increased drilling, lower fuel prices for working-class or poor Americans, the national security threat posed by sending gobs of money to the people who fund the people trying to kill us, or even "saving the planet." They opposed drilling because of the money and political support they get from environmental groups and they only switched positions when it became clear their intransigence handed the Republicans a club with which to beat them silly and rising public anger threatened their electoral chances. All they care about is keeping their money flowing and keeping their seats.
A sound energy policy, one that genuinely increases domestic production, is an economic issue because it would mean many, many more good-paying jobs and a lot of tax revenue. (Ask Alaska) It is a national security issue because it would greatly reduce our dependence on foreign supplies of oil (complete energy independence is a pipe-dream, in my opinion) and shrink the vast amounts of money we’re sending to people whose interests are inimical to ours. You know, stop buying them the rope with which to hang us?
Increased drilling here is also an environmental issue, because new technologies make it much safer, much cleaner than it has been in the past. Our continued reliance on foreign sources only hurts the environment "over there," because many foreign companies don’t have the same standards we do. How does it help save the Earth if ANWR is kept pristine, but Siberia is turned into a slag pit?
Of course, increased drilling isn’t the only answer: we need to ramp up increased clean-coal and nuclear sources (gasps of horror from eco-fundamentalists). We even need to explore in an intelligent way alternative sources such as solar and wind to see what role, even if minor, they could play. We will eventually have to transition away from a reliance on fossil fuels, but, until then, it’s simple common sense to make good use of the resources we have. And the Pelosi drilling bill just spits in the face of common sense and the national interest.
As the saying goes, "drill here, drill now." Pass it on.