10.01.2008 0

Day 15: Democrats Refuse to take Call on Energy

  • On: 10/21/2008 20:56:54
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • Republicans in Washington will not be able to pass the American Energy Act without the support of at least 19 House Democrats.

    And when asked about what is being done to persuade Democrats on Capitol Hill to support the American Energy Act, a comprehensive solution to the nation’s gas pains, Republicans will tell you that they have called upon their colleagues across the aisle to stand with them in support of the bill that would lift restrictions on off-shore and on-shore drilling, natural gas exploration, building new nuclear power plants and gasoline refineries, coal-to-liquid development, and opening up oil shale exploration.

    Now, that’s true. Republican leaders have made one public statement after another calling for bipartisan support for their “all-of-the-above” energy proposal. And ALG News has previously reported that Republican leaders are currently considering options to get the American Energy Act to the floor for a vote.

    The House Republican protest at the Capitol, in which members have refused to go on vacation until they get an up-or-down vote on the bill, continues but it is still unclear how they will achieve their goal.

    And when asked if Republicans are actively negotiating with Democrats, the answer is, unfortunately for the American people, no. Since that may be the only chance they have of getting a vote that begs the question: Why?

    Apparently, it’s not from a lack of trying.

    According to top Capitol Hill sources, House Democrats are refusing to talk to their Republican colleagues on the number one issue facing Americans struggling to make ends meet: the ongoing energy price crisis.

    So, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) recent cave-in on Larry King’s talk show where she stated she would allow a vote on more drilling—which would help to increase supply and bring prices down—that does not appear to extend to any of the number of Republican proposals that would actually increase energy production, including the American Energy Act.

    And in spite of her granting permission to vulnerable House Democrats to politically campaign in favor of increased drilling, her consent does not appear to extend to allowing them to even talk with their Republican colleagues about striking a deal. But with mounting pressure on the vulnerable Democrat-controlled seats in Congress, that could change as it becomes apparent to the public that Pelosi & Co. are merely paying lip service to curry political favor from the public by superficially promoting increased energy production.

    So far, Democrats appear to only be talking amongst themselves about bringing to the floor their own legislation, leaving minority Republican proposals hopelessly stuck in committee:

    “At least 31 Democrats have signed on as cosponsors of legislation to permit new drilling 25 miles off the coast — or, if states object, 50 miles offshore. The number of Democratic supporters is expected to grow once lawmakers get an earful from their constituents about high gasoline prices, said Dave Helfert, a spokesman for Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), one of the bill’s chief sponsors. Counting Republicans, the bill has 124 House sponsors.

    “The bill should get the support of oil-patch Democrats, or those from petroleum-producing states, plus the backing of some Democrats who have previously voted against new offshore drilling. It includes measures aimed at attracting more Democratic support, such as funding for such party priorities as development of alternative fuels, like solar and wind power, and energy assistance to low-income households.”

    That’s okay, but it’s not as good as the American Energy Act, and the Democrat proposal’s off-shore provisions are not as good as simply letting the moratorium on off-shore drilling expire. It ought to be the policy of the U.S. government to allow oil companies to drill where there is oil. The Democrat proposal seems to suggest that Congress could get out of the way of more drilling, only to allow the states a hand in obstructing the development of America’s energy resources.

    That’s a bad deal, and it would result in bad policy. Why not go further? What is needed is a national energy policy that will allow the free market to operate to extract oil and other energy resources without politicians standing in the way, whether they are federal or state officials.

    In the end, the American people are going to want to know that this Congress did everything in its power to remove federal regulatory barriers to increased energy production. The American Energy Act does that, and thus far the alternatives presented do not.

    House members that support the American Energy Act need to carry that message to their constituents and show the difference between all of the proposals, explaining why their bill goes the furthest to creating a national energy policy that allows markets to operate in a free manner that produces the most energy at the lowest cost.

    And once the American people see that difference, House Republicans will find the 19 Democrats they need to dig up a majority to support the American Energy Act.


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