10.01.2008 0

Do-Nothing Congress Goes into Recess

  • On: 10/20/2008 10:50:31
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment

  • “Do something!” That’s what the American people are saying to their elected representatives. Only, they’ve got better things to do.

    Today, members of Congress will go into their six-week recess without having accomplished a single thing to increase American energy production, to expand domestic oil drilling, to build new refineries, or to streamline the process by which new nuclear power plants are approved and ultimately built. Despite overwhelming public support for these sorts of measures, and the real energy crisis staring Americans in the face every time they fill up their gas tanks, Congress has opted to do nothing to help.

    The Democrat-controlled Congress has the lowest approval ratings in American history. And it is no wonder why. The Congressional majority, instead of taking steps to increase the energy supply and decrease prices, has taken every step it can to restrict the supply, assuring citizens of even higher prices in the future.

    This year alone, Congress has considered measures for capping carbon emissions through a punitive carbon tax, a “windfall” profits tax for domestic oil producers, and restricting trading in oil futures markets. All of these would have the triple effect of decreasing supply, increasing prices, and making America increasingly dependent upon foreign sources of energy.

    Thankfully, none of those proposals succeeded. Unfortunately, counter-proposals to allow for drilling off-shore have not succeeded either. Even places that have proven oil reserves, like ANWR, are still off limits under law.

    President Bush has done his part in lifting executive moratorium on increased drilling, and now it is Congress’ turn to act. One thing is certain: without Congressional action, domestic production will not increase.

    Democrats have responded with a series of unproven claims: the oil companies are supposedly “hiding” oil finds on currently leased lands, there is allegedly “overspeculation” in the futures markets, and drilling now will purportedly not have an immediate impact on oil prices.

    However, Mr. Bush’s act of lifting the moratorium has had a significant impact on the price per barrel of oil. On July 13th, the day before he did so, the price for a barrel of oil was about $145. Today, it’s about $124. This despite the claims that prices would somehow not be affected until said oil was extracted and put to market.

    While it is true that increased supply would help prices to decrease, markets move even quicker than that. They moved based on anticipation. On speculation. If Congress were to move to increase domestic drilling, the price would move even further downward. Markets anticipate future circumstances.

    Congress, on the other hand, is hopelessly stuck in the past. With Democrats in particular, the goal has been to destroy the demand for fossil fuels by causing prices to rise. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has even gone as far as to suggest that he wants prices to gradually increase to control demand. Gasoline tax hikes are often justified to control consumption. Cap-and-trade is a tax on carbon emissions, costs which of course will be passed on to consumers.

    This is not the way it has to be, though.

    Republicans in Congress have been granted a golden opportunity to sell the energy issue to the American people. Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have refused to allow a single up or down vote on increasing domestic energy production, the GOP has been handed on a silver platter quite a message to take home to their constituents over the Congressional recess.

    Challenger candidates attempting to be elected for the first time to Congress can effectively blame their incumbent opponents for doing nothing on energy. It’s a sound political strategy, because energy is the number one issue this year.

    While Congress is in recess, there will also be an opportunity to generate enough pressure on members of Congress of both parties to enact legislation that will lift prohibitions on more drilling. It is up to journalists and activists nationwide to demand that Congress act this year to increase energy production. Mounting pressure in Representatives’ and Senators’ respective districts and States will make it more likely that Congress will act this year.

    And then Americans can feel real relief at the gas pump.

    Instead of playing kick the can, Congress needs to do something now. This is one circumstance when doing nothing is not a good option.


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