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.
I'll take door number 3, Monty.........
FEINSTEIN: Well, that's not the issue here.
Huh? Energy resources and production ARE the core issues, you obstructionist twit. You also hate nuclear energy and the construction of hydroelectric facilities. You and your fellow travellers want us all at the same level of proletariat servitude. You are disgusting, your Highness.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but even if the amount sold doesn't increase doesn't the government stand to make more and more money as the price of oil, gasoline, et. al. increases?
Let's say oil is $10 a gallon and the tax 10%. The government skims off (as opposed to actually making) a buck. When oil goes to $15 the government's cut rises to $1.50; $18.00=$1.80, etc. Sure, people and industries might buy less but would it really matter? The 10% is still the same.
Some things are just timeless.
The Los Angeles and San Francisco populations LOVE their Democrat masters and will never vote them out. They would rather live in squalor and stand in bread lines than admit that capitalism, a republic, and an 8 hour job are more beneficial than socialism.
There is nothing even remotely on the horizon that could be ready in 5 years. everything being proposed would require a massive change in our lives (How many of our 125 million cars are capable of burning alcohol?). There is absolutely no infrastructure for hydrogen and electric cars would require massive amounts of new generating capacity (Nuclear?) None of this is going to happen, at least within the next 15 years or with the current crop of “experts” in congress, so basically, we’re screwed. Our lifestyles are about to take a dramatic turn downward and nobody cares.
What we should demand is that every politician declare whether they support drilling the off-limits areas, building nuclear and constructing refinerys. Those that support increasing our energy supplies get our vote, whether they are Republican or democrat, those that don’t can go sit in the dark in their cold houses.
The Republicans do have a winning issue, but they have been the most inept in American political history at trying to explain it.
Whenever this issue comes up, the Democrats and their allies at the Sierra Club, EDF, and whatever other eniviromental group start calling them “anti enviroment” and wanting to “Dirty our water and air” and they fold like a cheap tent. Especially the Northeastern Republicans.
And GOP idiots that are leaders in Congress wonder why they are having trouble raising money???????????
Speaking of thinking small, whatever happened to the solar power satellites?
Yes, the Northeastern Republicans are the worst.
The only problem is that the moonbats in the Democratic Party are even worse.
We have a nuclear power plant planned for my county in Idaho. As far as I am concerned they can start breaking today. Screw the EPA studies and other bureaucratic red tape full speed ahead!
But, when it's a national question of becoming more independent of the Middle East, it's all on President Bush. "Where's his energy policy?" or, "his energy policy's a failure!"
If these politicians believe they have a say in what happens near or in their states, they should be putting forth bills that govern where additional energy sources can be found and developed. Congress in the past two years, has failed to produce any energy bills; prior to that, the Democrats have always blocked bills that would permit drilling or exploration.
“How much has crude and gasoline skyrocketed since the dims stole the 2006 elections? Hmmm??”
We can thank the Pubs for allowing them to steal the elections and allowing them to drive up gas prices.
And that majority of “thems” will pay the price. I no longer have sympathy for the working man when the price spikes like the current situation. That working man has voted for decades for idiots that want to cripple this country over imported oil just as a crack dealer does their addicts.
Screw-em, let them pay the price.
The Dems — and some middle-east oil connected Pubbies who shall go nameless — want as much pain and suffering among the voters so they can offer more GOVERNMENT as the solution.
Works darn near every time.
Ref post #15:
You are correct.
Sorry, have to disagree. Please leave them with all the sharp objects that can be found.
Democrats are for drilling......the rich.
It’s great to get these Democratic points out in the open via Free Republic but each of us needs to hammer away at our senators and congressman and demand that we drill our own oil in ANWR and offshore, build refineries without requiring 400 permits, and use nuclear power like the French do. I have written several letters to my representatives about this subject. Every Freeper needs to do the same. Read this commentary from May 2006: http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/05/its-official-cuba-hires-china-to-drill.html
I wonder if Pelosi knows how stupid this sounds when she says just before this statement that she opposes more drilling in the USA. What a bunch of lying, weaseling scumbags democrats are.
Democrats prevent the drilling for new supply in the US. They have prevented drilling in ANWAR and in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if the amount sold doesn’t increase doesn’t the government stand to make more and more money as the price of oil, gasoline, et. al. increases?”
The Federal excise tax on gasoline is not a percentage . It is 18.4 cents per gallon.
I recall landing in Santa Barbara one late afternoon and as we made our approach over the S.B. Channel the low sun highlighted a huge oil slick from natural seepage.
At the Mandalay Beach Resort Hotel near the Channel Islands at Oxnard, there are washing stations on the beach so people can remove oil and tar from their bare feet. Ever hear of Pismo Beach where the famous Pismo clams are found? "Pismo" is the Chumash Indian name for the little pellets of oil tar that wash ashore all along California's Central Coast. I've found them as far north as Hearst Castle.
California's rich elitists control most of that prime beach real estate. The Hollywood crowd runs Montecito, the ultra-wealthy enclave just south of Santa Barbara. Super-rich elitists from all over are drawn to Santa Barbara for its beauty and elitist-friendly ambiance. It considers itself the birthplace of the militant Green movement (UC Santa Barbara is a hotbed of Green-Marxist activity, and a professor there helped write the Global Warming mythology-propaganda for the IPCC).
These people are rich, powerful, Left-Socialist and absolutely dedicated to the notion that there will never be any further oil drilling in the S.B. Channel. They campaign on "green" issues but they're mostly worried that the ocean views from their multi-million dollar estates will be spoiled by the sight of drilling platforms.
At what price per barrel do the Dems lift moritoriums, dril ANWR, etc?
I believe on every piece of ligilation an amendment to dril AnWR if the average price of gasoline goes above $4.00 per gallon.
There are a lot more taxes collected from oil companies than only the gas excise tax at the pump. It is taxed all along the process and again with any money left over for profit. Governments make more money off the oil industry than the companies keep as profits.
Revenue $404.6 Billion
Profit $40.6 Billion (10.0%)
Taxes $102.5 Billion (25.3%)
Sales-Based taxes $31.728B
Other taxes and duties $40.953B
Income taxes $29.864B
2007 Financial & Operating Review
- - - - - - - - -
Revenue $194.5 Billion
Profit $11.9 Billion (6.1%)
Taxes $30.4 Billion (15.6%)
Taxes other than income taxes $18.990B
Income taxes $11.891B
2007 Annual Report
- - - - - - - - -
Revenue $220.9 Billion
Profit $18.7 Billion (8.5%)
Taxes $35.7 Billion (16.2%)
Taxes other than income taxes $22.266B
Income taxes $13.479B
2007 Annual Report Supplement
- - - - - - - - -
Revenue $62.8 Billion
Profit $4.0 Billion (6.3%)
Taxes $8.5 Billion (13.5%)
There is also a fundamental conflict in the manner in which technological decisions made by government entities are reached. You see it in the responses by the various political figures in the original post. A smart political leader will enlist the assistance of recognized technical experts and trust their judgment in advising them on how to vote on technical issues. Unfortunately, today you see political leaders pandering and making decisions based more on what they think the public perceives as desirable, and thus will make them popular. The fundamental flaw in trusting technical decisions to popular votes is that, by definition of a democracy, two morons are "smarter" than one genius, so you have the spectacle of two brainless dolts like Pelosi and Cantwell overriding the intelligence of someone on the level of Einstein. Well, eventually Mother Nature pays no mind of how many votes you have. Pelosi and Cantwell can pass all the laws they want to against energy shortages and high prices, but when you burn up your natural gas in utility boilers, or destroy your foodstocks for some government-subsidized boondoggle like ethanol, the laws of nature and economics will trump whatever laws the airheads will pass.