The president has done his part.
President Bush today lifted a presidential ban on offshore oil drilling on the outer continental shelf that was implemented by his father, escalating a confrontation with Democrats in Congress over how to cope with soaring gasoline prices.Escalating a confrontation? What will Congress do in return? Make the president get out of office next year? It seems to me that the confrontation is between Congress and the American people.
Lifting the executive moratorium has no immediate practical effect, because Congress enacted its own prohibition on offshore drilling in 1981. It would have to be rescinded for exploration to proceed.No immediate practical effect. Is there any entity in our government or our national media capable of thinking about an action in any manner other than that action's immediate effect? The whole point of President Bush's reversal of the ban is to remove the Executive Branch--and himself--from the off-shore drilling equation and put the ball in Democrat-controlled Congress's court.
And, typically, they would rather wail (and lie) than do anything useful.
"The president didn't follow his father's policy on Iraq, and now he's not following his father's policy on offshore oil drilling," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. "Ironically, the result will be less pressure on the oil companies to produce on the leases they already hold."They would rather remain in the short-time mode of thinking and leave out pertinent information, than do so.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a leading opponent of oil exploration in the outer continental shelf and author of a bill to permanently ban drilling off the Atlantic coast, said in a statement that Bush's plan "won't produce a drop of oil until 2017 and won't lower gas prices ever."
To provide relief in the near term, he said, "we must crack down on speculation in the oil markets" require oil companies to tap into "the 68 million acres of unused land already leased to them by American taxpayers."
Calling today's move "a political stunt," Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and forcing oil companies to drill on the leased land they already control "would be a good place to start" in trying to lower gas prices.How much oil has been detected under that 68 millions acres? Have the oil companies attempted to drill there? Does drilling on that federal land require congressional approval? Have the oil companies asked for such approval? If not, does that mean that the companies know that they'd be drilling for nothing?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed similar sentiments, describing Bush's move as "a hoax" that "will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence."A hoax, eh? So does that mean that the president didn't really lift the ban?
At some point the genius who is our Speaker of the House will get the point that the president has simply put all the power to fix the energy crisis in her and Senator Harry Reid's hands--probably after someone else clues her in.
Stop whining, Democrats, and get out of the way yourselves!
UPDATE: Still whining while America pays.
WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, on Monday rejected a call by U.S. President George W. Bush to lift a moratorium on offshore oil drilling
Reid said oil companies should focus instead on drilling on much of the 68 million acres that they have leased but not used for exploration.
Asked, however, if he expected to have the votes to block legislation to lift the moratorium in face of soaring gasoline prices, Reid told a news conferences, "We will have to wait and see."
Reid said he hoped to have legislation introduced this week to crack down on oil speculators.
On the other side of the Capitol, Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, mocked Bush's call earlier in the day to lift the ban.
"The Bush oil policy is an attempt at mass deception by a White House that has, for the last seven and a half years, pursued Big Oil's agenda of drill, drill, drill," Markey, chairman of a select House of Representatives committee on energy independence, told a news conference.