Monday, August 04, 2008


Drilling For Oil

The Democrats are an obstacle; inaction is "unconscionable"

The GOP is finally taking the initiative on energy:
Scores of Republican House members will return to the Hill today, despite Congress being on recess, to engage in legislative guerrilla tactics meant to turn the screws on Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has so far refused to allow a vote on domestic oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge.

Republicans took to the House floor on Friday to protest against Pelosi even though the Speaker made sure to turn the cameras and most of the lights off. Their specific complaint was that Pelosi allowed the House to recess without allowing the House to vote on energy legislation.
Nancy Pelosi vowed yesterday not to allow a vote on drilling to occur. Via Hot Air, House GOP leadership sent her the following letter:
An Open Letter to Speaker Pelosi

On Friday August 1, 2008, at 11:23 a.m., your Democrat majority in the House of Representatives adjourned the House for five full weeks.

House Republicans believe that Congress should not go on vacation until we take action to lower gas and energy prices for struggling American families.

For the last two months we and our House Republican colleagues have used every tool at our disposal to try and get you and your Democrat majority to vote on legislation to lower gas and energy prices by expanding environmentally sound domestic production of oil and natural gas, improving energy efficiency, and encouraging the development of alternative energy technologies.

Many of the proposals we have asked you and your Democrat majority to allow us to vote on are bipartisan proposals that we believe would enjoy the support of a majority of the Members of the Congress. Yet because you and your Democrat Leadership personally oppose these proposals, you are not allowing them to come up for a vote. This past Sunday, you even told George Stephanopoulos that you will never allow this vote to occur ….

In protest of you and your Democrat majority not allowing an up or down vote on producing more American energy, we and our House Republican colleagues were prepared to take to the floor on Friday, August 1, 2008, and speak to the nation. Rather than allowing that to happen you and your Democrat majority adjourned the House, turned off the television cameras, shut off the microphones and turned out the lights. Nearly 50 House Republicans remained on the floor of the House in defiance speaking to those citizens gathered in the galleries and to the media.

Today we have again returned to the Capitol to continue speaking to the thousands of Americans from all across our country who are visiting the Capitol. We would have preferred if instead we were joined by our colleagues to have a true debate on this issue that ended in an up or down vote.

We think it is unconscionable that Congress has gone on vacation before we have addressed the high gas prices that are crippling our economy and hurting millions of families. We are asking that you reconvene the House from your five-week vacation and schedule a vote on legislation to increase American energy production. Let us be clear, we are not asking for a guaranteed outcome, just the chance to vote.

Signed by: John Boehner, Republican Leader; Roy Blunt, Republican Whip; Adam Putnam, Republican Conference Chairman; Eric Cantor, Chief Deputy Whip; and Members of the House Republican Conference
Rep Boehner is live blogging the protest. From this morning:
Congressmen Mike Pence (R-IN):

“We come today on behalf of all Americans that believe Congress should come back in session for a vote on real energyRe

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA):

“Without your help we won’t be able to do anything…like the founders of this country we’re going directly to the American people.”

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK):

“The oil might not flow for a year or two, but the jobs will start immediately…Right now, this House is an obstacle, not a platform.”
So is the Senate. I was stunned when I saw this:

Sen McConnell offered unanimous consent requests to lift the ban on deep-sea exploration if the price of gasoline reached $4.50, $5, $7.50 and $10. Democrats objected to every request.

Obama is incoherent on energy.

This issue is a big loser for the Democrats. Voters and momentum are with the GOP now. They should stick to their guns and force a vote rather than compromise with the Democratic leadership.

Bettors at Intrade recognize this. The contract on whether Congress will lift the offshore drilling ban this year, which was trading at 10 last month and 25 last Friday, is now at 50.



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