Skip to comments.Democrats Oppose Drilling for Oil Off U.S. Coasts
Posted on 05/09/2008 6:57:57 AM PDT by yoe
As Ann Coulter points out in the cover story of this week's HUMAN EVENTS, the Democratic Party has long pursued a strategy designed to force up the price of gasoline for American families.
Part of this strategy is to maintain a moratorium on oil drilling off the East and West coasts of the United States, thus artificially limiting the domestic supply.
Back in 1982, according to the Energy Information Agency, Congress enacted a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coast of Northern California. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush ordered the Department of Interior not to allow any new drilling off virtually all the rest of the East and West coasts until 2000. Some drilling was still allowed in the Gulf of Mexico, but not off the coast of Florida. In 1998, President Clinton ordered that President Bush's moratorium be continued until 2012.
Many Republicans in Congress want to lift this moratorium. House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R.-Calif.) is pushing legislation that would allow each state to decide individually if it wants drilling off its shores. But congressional Democrats, led by liberal House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), are adamantly opposed to developing our domestic oil supplies to counter escalating gasoline prices.
HUMAN EVENTS Assistant Editor Amanda Carpenter confronted members of Congress on this issue.
I'm with HUMAN EVENTS and we've talked about lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling on the East and West coasts. Is that something you would support?
HOUSE RESOURCES CHAIRMAN RICHARD POMBO (R.-CALIF.): Yes, but what we are moving is a bill that basically turns over to the states the ability to decide whether they want development off their shore. If you do that, you will end up with a number of states that will allow it.
What states do you think will go for that?
POMBO: Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia have already indicated that they want to do that.
How much do you think that will help the oil supply?
POMBO: That will help dramatically. The immediate difference it makes is on natural gas, which is a bigger problem than the oil prices, because natural gas impacts the entire economy and that's where we would have the most immediate impact and it would be huge.
When could we expect that?
POMBO: We're going to move a bill this year. Whether or not we can get it through the Senate, I think, is the big question, but I believe the House will pass a bill this year.
Is lifting the moratorium on oil drilling off the East and West coasts on the table to increase the supply of oil?
HOUSE ENERGY CHAIRMAN JOE BARTON (R.-TEX.): Chairman Pombo of the Resources Committee has jurisdiction on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and what he's thinking about doing, what my understanding is, is to give the states sort of an opt-in on a state-by-state basis. They can decide to allow drilling in the federal OCS off their shores, and if they did, states would get an increased royalty share.
Would you support lifting that?
BARTON: Oh sure, sure. We have up to a 100 billion barrels of oil and gas in the OCS and in ANWR that are off-limits right now, and that would help our supply a lot.
Doesn't the oil moratorium put in place by Bush Sr., extended by President Clinton until 2012, that essentially prohibits drilling off the East and West coasts hurt the [oil] supply? Would you support lifting that moratorium?
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D.-WASH.): I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to
CANTWELL AIDE: Offshore.
CANTWELL: Oh, offshore?
CANTWELL: Listen, the United States has 3% of the world's oil reserves, okay? And we have seen, if we think we are going to drill, why are the gas prices in Washington State higher? Because those prices out of Alaska end up getting set on the world market, okay? So, now we're going to get 3% or whatever the United States has? Do you think we're going to control the world market by having that? No. So, my point is that you know, I'm not saying that in every case the answer is no, but go and be aggressive about the alternative fuel market so you have some competition to gasoline prices. Because right now you don't have any competition, and we have places like China and India and other places eating up demand. We are just going to continue to get squeezed, so now is the time to be much more aggressive about alternative fuels.
Would you support lifting the moratorium on offshore oil drilling on the East and West coasts?
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R.-TEX.): Would I support it? Absolutely.
Would you support lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling on the East and West coasts?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D.-CALIR): No.
No? Now, I'm not trying to be cheeky, but doesn't that artificially inflate the price if we can't drill because of legislation?
FEINSTEIN: No, not necessarily at all. The fact of the matter is California is at refining capacity. They couldn't refine more if we had it.
Even if we opened it up?
And opened more refineries?
FEINSTEIN: Well, that's not the issue here. The issue is should there be drilling off the coast of California, and Califomians have spoken and they don't want it. So the answer is no.
I've been looking at the oil moratorium on offshore drilling on the East and West coasts. Would you support lifting that to increase the oil supply?
SEN. JUDD GREGG (R.-N.H.): I think we should give the states the option.
I just talked with Mr. Pombo, and he said there's actually going to be a bill in the House that will do that. Do you think that will have a chance of passing the Senate?
GREGG: I don't know. There's certainly more interest in it now than there has been in the past. There's also resistance to it. Obviously there's the issue with Florida, but there's states like Virginia that have expressed a desire to do it.
Would you support lifting [the moratorium on oil drilling off the East and West coasts] to immediately impact gas prices and drive them down?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D.-CALIF.): Absolutely not. What we have to do, what our nation has to do, is make a decision to be energy independent. We should be spending our energy dollars on the Middle West, not the Middle East. Mr. [James] Clyburn [D.-S.C.] and Congresswoman [Rosa] DeLauro [D.-Conn.] talked about alternative energy sources where we and our own agriculture area would be able to have sources of oil that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. They're [Republicans are] thinking so tiny, tiny, small. They have to think beyond that. They have got to think of our national security, our economy, our environment, and they have got to think about America's consumers. As long as they are only thinking big oil, they will come up with these small solutions.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D.-S.C): Let me say something else about that. Let's go back to the State of the Union. The President said in the State of the Union Address that we must get rid of our addiction to oil. He didn't say foreign oil, he said addiction to oil. So then why are we going to spend time and resources drilling for more oil, be it ANWR or off the East or West coast? Why aren't we developing alternatives to oil? And we can do it within five years. I have spent the whole break working with colleges and universities on what we need to do going forward, hydrogen fuel cells, what we need to do with biofuels. I have coming into South Carolina, this coming weekend. Gov. Schweiker of Montana who will be at South Carolina State College spending a day there talking about alternatives to oil. [Iowa] Gov. Vilsack will be coming, talking about corn and soybeans. We know that rural farmers can be a part of making this country energy independent, and that's where we ought to be spending our resources. That's where we ought to be spending our money, not finding other sources of oil. You don't get rid of the addiction by changing the brand.
Environmental irresponsibility is strangling the economy and stupid politicians allow it for votes. Enough! Pick up the phone, call your elected and tell them to fix the gas problem by removing the moratorium on drilling NOW!
Moratoriums are not etched in granite: Moratorium simply means a suspension of activity.
I agree with Pelosi, we should be energy independent,
by drilling for our own oil while developing alternatives and building nuclear power plants as fast as we can.
You can put one in my back yard, baby.
Pelosi and Cantwell shouldn’t be left alone with power tools or anything sharp!
Democrats cause a reduction in the supply of energy and therefore a rise in price. When the impact finally starts to hurt people they blame the greedy oil companies. And none in the MSM ever calls them on it.
I’d bet there is a *lot* of oil off the coast of California.
From time-to-time you’ll hear a news blip about a small oil ‘spill’ that can’t be traced back to a tanker. It’s probably leaking up from the sea floor.
The public needs to be made painfully aware of just how the Democrats have SCREWED America with their decades-long interference in the domestic oil business (production AND refining).
Obstructionist energy policy is nothing short of a cudgel that could be taken up and used to beat the donks bloody between now and November.
Too bad McCain isn’t smart enough to do it. Oh, and I forgot — he embraces 90% of the enviro-whacko crap they spew.
This is just more of the same. VOTE AND CAMPAIGN MONEY PANDERING by the libs, from the “conservationist” base. The libs are destroying the integrity of America for personal empowerment.
Plain and simple.
We ALL know that using corn for oil was a MONSTER OF A MISTAKE. It even defies "COMMON SENSE".
These people are complete idiots. What has been keeping all of these "colleges and universities" from developing alternative fuels thus far? Not a damn thing. So either they are doing, have no interest in doing it or want tax dollars to do it.
It's quite scary these clowns could have complete control of Washington in 2009.
Hello $200, maybe $300 oil. Thing is they won't have Bush to blame for it. They'll still try.
This country is in serious trouble when the next President is sworn in! Does not matter who it is we are in trouble!
Deception! We wouldn't have MORE oil to refine. We would be buying less oil from overseas to refine. We would have the same amount at a cheaper price. WHAT A FREAKIN' LIE.
The Soviets and their satellite nations controlled their populace movements thru permission slips to allow someone to go from one town to another. The Dems know they can’t do that, as the American people would not stand for it. Instead they will limit the supply of fuel for such purposes so their hands are clean..........
The MSM *are* Democrats. Why would they?
The real problem is that people seriously consider what the MSM reports to be 1) accurate and 2) relevant. The Russian people figured it out. Why can't we?
I think it's our responsibility to teach people within our circle of influence that the MSM's goal is to teach you what to think about issues of their choosing. First thing you can do is understand that the truth is probably exactly the opposite of any story the MSM reports. Second thing is that what is being reported is not really important, but is what the MSM wants you to focus on.
The little blips that are reported and then vanish are more likely much bigger issues than our typical daily bombardment.
You can't challenge the MSM to change because that leaves control in their hands. They put a Limbag or O'Really out there and you have a new spinmeister to tell you what to believe. Except you *really* believe this one because the MSM makes them appear to be 1) accurate and 2) relevant. You have merely exchanged authorities. You still believe what the MSM serves up.
Trying to make the MSM 'change' is the wrong approach. Recognize them for what they are and don't act on their 'advice'. That's the only way to fight it.
What I find interesting is that the Cubans are working with the Chineses to bring in drill ships or platforms and drill for oil in Cuban waters. Lots of jobs, lots of oil revenue going to the Cubans and Chinese. A few miles away, American companies are not permitted to drill-no jobs for Americans, no tax revenue for the states and federal government.
The Republicans have a winning issue here. Wait! we are talking about the Republican party.
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