Power Struggle

Jul 14, 2008 4:08pm

President Bush’s move today to end the offshore oil drilling ban was, at the most, symbolic, and, at the least, meaningless.  As he made clear, he can’t do a thing with out an okay from less-than-sympathetic Democrats on Capitol Hill. "The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress," Mr. Bush said. "Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court."  (The White House’ memo to the Interior Department is HERE.) Mr. Bush added, "The time for action is now. This is a difficult period for millions of American families. Every extra dollar they have to spend because of high gas prices is one dollar less they can use to put food on the table or send a child to school and they are rightly angered by Congress’ failure to enact common-sense solutions." Speaker Pelosi had time for her reply: “Once again, the oilman in the White House is echoing the demands of Big Oil. "The Bush plan is a hoax. It will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence. It just gives millions more acres to the same companies that are sitting on nearly 68 million acres of public lands and coastal areas. "If the President wants to bring down prices in the next two weeks, not the next two decades, he should free our oil by releasing a small portion of the more than 700 million barrels of oil we have put in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. "It’s time to tell the oil industry: ‘You already have millions of acres to drill. Use it or lose it.’" Keep in mind, none of this will make a bit of difference to the current supplies of oil or natural gas.  I did a piece a few weeks ago about biofuels — for instance, ethanol made from sweet sorghum, a crop that, unlike corn, is not a major part of our food supply.  The main thing I kept hearing as I did research: there’s no single quick fix.  Find more from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization HERE. I also ran across a quote from Manuel Lujan, then Secretary of the Interior, on June 26, 1990, when Mr. Bush’s father ordered the ban on offshore drilling that the President would now lift: "The President’s decision will enable us to produce the energy America needs, while protecting the environment that all Americans demand."  Response that day from Charles DiBona, then head of the American Petroleum Institute: "Locking up these energy-rich lands at a time when our dependency on foreign energy is escalating is a serious mistake." Only the names and the numbers have changed.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus