Just before the August summer recess, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to schedule a vote that would have removed the Congressional ban on offshore drilling that has been in place for over 30 years. Her reasoning was based on the vacuous statement, "I want to save the planet."
Statements of that sort would bring a good laugh on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” if the energy situation were not so serious. But America faces the worst energy crisis in the history of the nation at a time when it is starved for leadership.
Yet, Pelosi has taken upon herself an action that would virtually interrupt any possibility of future energy independence. America must have positive leadership, not vacuous statements such as "I want to save the planet."
Pelosi's consistent stonewalling of offshore drilling and other congressional actions to provide for exploration is deepening the crisis, albeit that she tossed a bone to House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. Pelosi offered to schedule a vote on offshore drilling with a number of conditions attached, mainly releasing the 700 million barrel National Petroleum Reserve to relieve high prices at the pump.
Pelosi's appearance Aug. 4 on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" revealed a rather confused presentation of her refusal to permit offshore drilling.
When asked directly by Stephanopoulos why the Republican request for the scheduling of a vote on offshore drilling could not be recognized, Pelosi answered repeatedly: "They'll have to use their imagination as to how they can get a vote and they may get a vote." And then her statement trails off to a criticism of President Bush.
Few Americans realize the tremendous power Pelosi wields in her position as Speaker of the House. Her power to schedule votes on any and all legislation introduced in the House makes her a virtual dictator as far as scheduling a House bill or resolution for a vote. Her personal ban on offshore drilling poses a threat to the U.S. economy that the American public cannot ignore. It is real.
A serious petition by a substantial number of congressional members to break this deadlock is unlikely for fear of retaliation against each congressman's own future legislative requests.
Only a massive e-mail campaign condemning her action may have any influence.
The longer the banning of drilling offshore exists, the deeper and the more intense the energy crisis will become.
Lengthening the time for such a decision opens the door wider for critics of offshore drilling.
Critics who profess themselves as having a lifetime of experience in oil production, such as famed wildcatter T. Boone Pickens, are appearing in their own commercials with windmills in the background stating, "We can't drill ourselves out of this problem," or, "Drilling is not the answer."
Michelle Malkin, writing for VDare.com, referring to Pickens' interest in wind power, states: "Naturally, the Pickens Big Wind plan is proudly endorsed by Do-Nothing Pelosi's friends at the obstructionist Sierra Club. Through another company, Mesa Power, Pickens has committed upwards of $12 billion in wind farms on the Texas panhandle. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (a natural gas provider founded by Pickens) and Mesa Power are separate entities, but what benefits one piece of the Pickens' puzzle benefits them all. The wind venture, as Pickens himself acknowledges, depends on permanent federal subsidies."
Big gambler that he is, Pickens seems unwilling to bet the farm. He'll bet as long as the American taxpayer coughs up 80 percent of the deal, representing nearly $10 billion of his big bet.
While Nancy Pelosi may dream of saving the planet, and Pickens will make billions on windmills wherein taxpayers will pay 80 percent of the costs through subsidies to his investments, predictions are the American motorist will continue to pay $4 or more per gallon for gasoline for the next 30 years.
There is a solution to this problem: Drill! Drill! Drill!
So long as automobiles use gasoline and trucks use diesel fuel for power, America will be dependent on adequate energy sources of this type.
Alternative sources of energy are further out in the future than is an all-out Manhattan-type drive to open all America's petroleum energy resources to development.
Nancy Pelosi and her gang of obstructionists can be dealt with in the November election.
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