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Nancy Pelosi Moving Toward Off Shore Drilling Vote

The past few days House Republicans have been staging a wonderful revolution demanding Nancy Pelosi allow an up or down vote on off shore drilling. This revolution spawned the #dontgo Movement. If you've been following the Republicans' efforts online, then you are familiar with it. This revolution appears to be working because Speaker Pelosi's showing signs of cracks. And I don't mean in her face. She was on Larry King Live where she said she was open to a vote on off shore drilling if the package included opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. From The Hill:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday night dropped her staunch opposition to a vote on offshore oil drilling in the House.

Republicans, reacting to high gas prices, have demanded a vote on additional oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, where drilling is currently blocked by a moratorium. Until now, Pelosi (D-Calif.) has resisted the idea as a "hoax." But in an interview on CNN's Larry King Live, she indicated that she was open to a vote.

A "hoax"? My god, this woman has some nerve. Trying to ensure that Americans have long term control over their own oil is not a hoax. Here's the hoax, and Nancy Pelosi herself is involved in perpetrating it on Americans.

She continues, again, from The Hill:

"They have this thing that says drill offshore in the protected areas," Pelosi said. "We can do that. We can have a vote on that."

"They" are the Republicans and "this thing" is called a revolution, a movement, Ms. Pelosi, and it's based upon the strongly and correctly held belief that America should and will become independent of foreign nations for its oil. This position is moral and right and just.

There's a phony compromise offered by the "Gang of Ten" floating around in the Senate that, as Betsy Newmark notes, would end up being a massive Democratic giveaway while erasing the inroads the Republicans have made toward off shore drilling:

It's a lot tougher for Republicans to oppose a phony compromise than simply highlighting on how Pelosi isn't allowing a vote. They need to be up to the task and not let Pelosi get away with pretending to be willing to have drilling while drawing up the regulations so that the drilling would be too limited to really access domestic supplies of oil.

The Democrats will have to either allow a vote on the moratorium on offshore drilling which expires this fall or try to fold a continuation of the moratorium into some massive omnibus spending bill and hope that Republicans would go along just to get the appropriations passed. Pelosi has pretended before to allow a vote and jerked back the football.

The Editors at The National Review weighed in on the Gang of Ten's compromise and notes that there are a lot of ethanol pushers involved in this compromise:

The latest half-baked idea comes from a "gang of ten" senators -- five Republicans, five Democrats -- who have offered a compromise that would lift the ban on offshore drilling in exchange for $20 billion in new federal spending on alternative sources of energy. The list -- ag-friendly guys like Saxby Chambliss and Kent Conrad, corn-staters like Ben Nelson and John Thune -- smells of ethanol. The compromise bill includes $2.5 billion for biofuel research and billions more in incentives for automakers to make cars with ethanol-burning engines. There might be a smart way for Washington to subsidize research into alternative energy, but this isn't it.

No it isn't. All the ethanol subsidies are what's causing the jump in food prices the past few years. Growing corn for fuel is becoming more profitable than growing it for food because of the government's propping up of the ethanol industry. With this compromise, not only will gasoline not become any cheaper and Americans not any less dependent on foreign oil, but food prices will continue to rise making life for Americans more difficult on two very important fronts.

The editorial continues:

There is a simpler solution. The congressional ban on drilling has to be renewed each year, and the current ban expires in September, so congressional Republicans and President Bush should fight to stop the ban's renewal. The Democrats are backpedaling like mad. Their presidential candidate doesn't have a coherent position and has resorted to Carter-esque lectures on energy conservation. Meanwhile, the speaker of the House is telling vulnerable members of her caucus to support lifting the ban.

The Democrats find themselves on the wrong side of the most important issue to Americans right now. Now is not the time for a compromise. It's time to keep applying pressure.

Right on.

Update: Investor's Business Daily outlines this so called "compromise" the Gang of Ten is proposing:

Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Thune of South Dakota -- remember their names if things go badly for the GOP this November.

With the issue of domestic drilling to provide relief for suffering consumers landing right in the laps of embattled congressional Republicans, those five -- none of whom faces any immediate danger of losing his seat -- decided to join with some crafty Democrats and smash to pieces that gift from the heavens.

The "compromise" they are promoting is actually a wholesale giveaway to Democrats. Touted as a drilling plan, it actually imposes about $84 billion in new taxes on oil companies and keeps the offshore and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling bans.

In the five states supposedly being opened to more drilling -- Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida -- massive regulatory roadblocks and state legislative fights could mean drilling in theory, but precious little in practice. Imposition of an arbitrary 50-mile no-drilling zone denies access to known oil deposits.

No wonder Nancy Pelosi is now making noises she'd support an up or down vote on off shore drilling. This compromise means a win for the Dems.

Note: A commenter asked that I provide documentation to support my argument that ethanol subsidies are driving up the price of food. Please note that I added several links to different sources.


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Comments (24)

Imagine that. Maybe there's... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Imagine that. Maybe there's a compromise to be had from all this. Wouldn't that be a miracle if our Congress actually did something to benefit the people instead of their own political interests.

I still say a pox on both parties, get rid of each and everyone of the political harlots. Both parties excel at political sideshows but not much else.

But, sad to say, that won't happen.

Shock. I agree with JFO.</p... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Shock. I agree with JFO.

I don't, however, imagine that there will honest vote on allowing offshore drilling. I suspect that Pelosi is still opposed to it but she must be feeling the mounting public pressure... the result (in my estimation) is the 'compromise' will include a 'poison pill' to insure that offshore drilling in the sacred areas remains closed. This gives the appearance of an effort without actually making an effort...

I hope I'm wrong.

I'll believe that Pelosi wi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'll believe that Pelosi will allow a vote AFTER it's taken.

As with most thug politicia... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

As with most thug politicians, all anyone needs to do is follow the money trail. Millions of taxpayer dollars will go directly to voters/contributors. That of course is all that matters and all it takes for these fine, upstanding patriots to betray their country and the American people. Republican or democrat, there are a very few true patriots in Washington. The only way in which this nation will ever be taken back from the criminals in Wash will be when millions of citizens literally descend on the Capitol, remove these thugs from their offices-physically-and escort them from town, making certain that they understand that they are no longer welcome or employed in Washington D.C.

Her recent investments in B... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Her recent investments in Boone Pickens companies would have nothing to do with it would it. Wind mills are producing a lot of dollars but oil is and will. Add the billions of taxpayer dollars she can channel to her bank account through 'investments' and she now has a reason to support 'big oil'.

I would like to see a 100% audit of every congress critter. How much were they worth when first elected vs how much they have managed to accumulate over the years on a $200K annual salary. You would only find two types of critters in congress, real smart investors, aka inside traders, and/or criminals. That would make 99% of them criminals.

In the above, "Wind mills a... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

In the above, "Wind mills are producing a lot of dollars" should be , "Wind mills are 'not' producing a lot of dollars"

"All the ethanol subsidies ... (Below threshold)

"All the ethanol subsidies are what's causing the jump in food prices the past few years."

Can we have a cite for this, please?

Because according to Zubrin (for one) the actual agriculture stats do not support it, and as far as I can tell, it's no more valid than the "oil companies already have 68 million usa acres to drill on already" misrepresentation.

Don't get me wrong, I have no love for corn subsidies, let alone ethanol in general. I just want to get the facts.

"Corn prices have risen mar... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

"Corn prices have risen markedly over the last year with the increased demand for ethanol, and prices of foods containing or dependent on corn have risen along with them. In some poor countries, climbing commodity prices have touched off food riots."

from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080722/ap_on_re_us/epa_ethanol

Kenny, I hope that wasn't a... (Below threshold)

Kenny, I hope that wasn't an attempt at providing an actual usefully valid and replicable citation, in the professionally objective sense, in response to my request, because it isn't one. That was just a mere airy handwaving assertion from some AP byliner.

No offense, dude, but, y'know, come on. "Well, some journo broad named Betsy Blaney says so!" is not a cite. To paraphrase Williams misquoting Capote, that's not proving; that's just typing.

Acksiom, It took m... (Below threshold)
Chip:

Acksiom,

It took me all of 2 seconds to do a search in Google. Why can't you do the same? Too lazy maybe, or is Google too complicated for you?
Heres a hint type in "ethanol corn"

Chip

Yea its about time Nancy is... (Below threshold)

Yea its about time Nancy is starting to feel the heat. I hope that sheehan girl takes her spot.

No, Chip; it's that I've al... (Below threshold)

No, Chip; it's that I've already done my basic research. That's why ". . .as far as I can tell, it's no more valid than the 'oil companies already have 68 million usa acres to drill on already' misrepresentation," was in my original post.

Also, I'm primarily asking Kim. She made the assertion, so I primarily want to know what source/s she had in mind.

Off shore oil drilling like... (Below threshold)

Off shore oil drilling likely won't provide a drop of oil for at least ten years because of the long process of obtaining permits, exploration, etc. However, it is probably better for the Democrats to take this issue off the table for the November election and allow it to go ahead only because a vast majority of Americans favor it, not because it is actually the right thing to do.

Pelosi is merely being a political realist here, even if allowing this new driling probably won't ever serve any real benefit before the gasoline internal combusion engine in automobiles is on it's way out as dated technology.

But it is the right thing t... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

But it is the right thing to do. Imagine if we had been a bit smarter and allowed it to happen 10 years ago. It's odd how Britain and Norway can drill off shore with a very large Green voting block yet somehow we can't.
The real long term solution is to build a new batch of safer, more efficient nuclear reactors, but we need to do something in the mean time.

Axkslom,Well then ... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Axkslom,

Well then how about David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert?

http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm

Or even (if you dare) consider this debunking of your god Zubrin?

http://i-r-squared.blogspot.com/2008/03/debunking-robert-zubrin.html

Pardon me for not posting to your exacting standards of citation. At least I provided links. Care to show us how it should be done with a proper citation for Zubrin?

Paul,Do you really... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Paul,

Do you really believe it will be 10 years to see any oil from the locations off southern California that already have platforms in place? You know, those sites that had already been surveyed, and the platforms built just as the moratorium went into effect?

Heres a reference, And As a bonus for Axkslom, it has citations!!! Though somehow I feel sure they will be faulted...
http://patdollard.com/2008/08/10-years-to-see-domestic-drilling-results-not-so-much/

Off shore oil dril... (Below threshold)
Off shore oil drilling likely won't provide a drop of oil for at least ten years because of the long process of obtaining permits, exploration, etc.

Off course, the idiot Democrats have been saying this for 10 years now, but Hooson always ignores this.

I smell a trap. There's no ... (Below threshold)

I smell a trap. There's no way an unprincipled sleaze like Pelosi is going to allow this. Dollars to doughnuts that the bill she submits will be so laden with pork and special favors to Democrat constituencies that the Republicans will have no choice but to vote against it. And then the NY Times will obediently run an article parroting the Democrat talking points, like this: "Republicans Veto Off-Shore Drilling Legislation." This is something the GOP is going to have to figure on happening.

What we are witnessing this... (Below threshold)
Roy Lofquist Author Profile Page:

What we are witnessing this year is the climactic and final battle for control of the Democratic Party. It started in 1940 with the nomination of Henry Wallace as FDR's VP. Wallace proved to be quite bizarre and was forced out in 1944 in favor of Truman. It was rejoined in 1968 when the left wing of the party attempted a coup-de-main in Chicago. The DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) was formed in 1990 to specifically wage this battle. Bill Clinton was their chosen weapon.

This year is the perfect storm. The chickens of identity group politics have come home to roost. The DLC wing was stuck with HRC whose husband had brought great shame on the party. Think not? How many R's would have voted for Nixon if he had tried a comeback? Obama won, barely, as the "anyone but Hillary" candidate.

The left consolidated its power in the liberal enclaves of the big cities and racially gerrymandered Congressional districts. These seniority heavy pols were selected and reelected by the groups - labor, plaintiff bar, environmentalists, civil rights, feminists, pl;anned parenthood...

The battle is joined but reality sucks. Iraq is going sour for the left. The Russians just made a $100 million ad buy for McCain. Gasoline is $4 a gallon and Obama holds up a tire gauge. Pelosi, Reid and other party leaders sense impending disaster. They don't know whether to defecate or go blind so they blink twice and pass gas. Deer in the headlights? They should be so lucky.

Yes, there are serious matters to be decided in this election. But, we will survive no matter who wins. We always have and I pray that we always will.

The big question is whether the Democratic Party will return to its former greatness or skew to the radical left and destroy the precious political stability with which we have been blessed.

My "god Zubrin"? Um, no. ... (Below threshold)

My "god Zubrin"? Um, no. It's just that he appears to have the numbers disproving the claim that ethanol production is driving up food prices; see

http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/in-defense-of-biofuels

As to your cites, they don't really address that point; there's no meaningful support in them for the ethanol = higher food prices proposition.

Furthermore, counter-Pimental:

http://journeytoforever.org/ethanol_rooster.html

And then there's the fact that both sides on that exchange were working with 2001 numbers at the very latest. Matters have changed significantly since then.

As to RR's "debunking", well, again, (A) I'm not a Zubrinarian ITFP, and (B)

http://i-r-squared.blogspot.com/2008/02/critiquing-robert-zubrin-on-energy.html

Money quote -- "Overall, Zubrin is not completely in left field. He strays out there now and then, but his methanol argument is OK. I don't consider him at all a crackpot (although that Learsy reference raised one eyebrow)."

Because one of the basic, elemental ways one 'does it properly' is to refrain from using sources that actually, y'know, contradict you.

But, again, that's all beside the point. What I'm asking for is a reliable citation supporting the proposition that ethanol production is meaningfully increasing food prices. I still haven't seen one. I've looked. And what I've found instead indicates that other market forces are responsible for increased food prices.

Kim,How about instea... (Below threshold)
Ghibertii:

Kim,
How about instead of us relying on oil, Americans do what we do best, innovate and create new technologies that will supplant oil. Continuing down the path of reliance on oil, whether foreign or domestic, is not sustainable. (I do not think ethanol is the answer) It is never easy to make large scale changes but it starts with you and what are you doing to reduce your consumption of petroleum based products.

ghi

Kim, thanks for the link up... (Below threshold)

Kim, thanks for the link updates to your original post, but, again, those aren't reliable, replicable cites. The closest thing in them to such is claims about the conclusions of thesupposed "secret" unreleased study from the World Bank that the uk's Guardian says they acquired. But unless and until that's actually published, including proper peer-review, it's necessarily non-supportive; it simply doesn't count.

Also,

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2008/07/07/bad-juice-world-bank-blames-biofuels-for-high-food-prices/

and

http://venturebeat.com/2008/05/21/biofuel-battle-wsj-hits-khosla-khosla-hits-back/

What's worse, your third link doesn't even meaningfully address the issue ITFP.

Well, it's getting late, and I've spent way too much time and energy being way too polite in response to asinine provocation here already. . .so I'm just gonna go ahead and conclude at this point that you don't actually have the references needed to support the proposition.
depp=true
notiz=A lesson in civility for you.

You know, Kimmy -- and I'm ... (Below threshold)

You know, Kimmy -- and I'm only saying this because I care -- there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing.

http://ihasahotdog.com/2008/04/11/funny-dog-pictures-anytime-u-want-to-talk/

Acksiom,I guess wh... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Acksiom,

I guess when facts change it doesn't matter to you, you've made up your mind and damn the facts! Typical liberal attitude.

Anyway, here's the COMPLETE quote, notice the last paragraph you omitted:


Overall, Zubrin is not completely in left field. He strays out there now and then, but his methanol argument is OK. I don't consider him at all a crackpot...


But today he stepped out onto very thin ice with an editorial that spoke out in favor of our current biofuel policies:




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