August 13, 2008
— Ace As you probably know, the federal moratorium on offshore drilling and oil-shale recovery ends -- expires naturally, with no action necessary -- Oct. 1. (Note that ANWR is covered by a separate measure.)
The Democrats wish to extend it, but they can't. It's unlikely they have a majority of votes for that, and even if they do Republican Senators will filibuster any new moratorium.
So, to avoid an actual vote on the moratorium itself, Democrats will attempt adding it to continuing-resolution bills which fund the government. Such CRs are necessary because the Democrats, of course, have failed to pass most funding bills.
So we need Bush to veto any CR that contains such a renewal of the oil-drilling ban and risk and probably invite a government shut-down to finally be rid of this stupidity.
Whether Bush will do so is doubtful. Congressional Republicans are urging him to do this, but he is managing two and a half wars.
Dick Morris stated on Fox that he's sure that, unlike the 1995 shut-down for which Gingrich and the Republicans got most of the blame and public ire, the public will blame the Democrats this time around, understanding that it's the Democrats forcing this by insisting on placing an unrelated (and wildly unpopular) measure into a simple CR.
I think he's right, but I don't know if Bush has the stones.
Bob Corker Defends His "Gang of Ten" Compromise to Instapundit: Worth reading, but the Gang of Ten compromise keeps all Pacific drilling off-the-table, and as I understand the matter, not only is that a lot of oil, but it could begin producing oil within the year. I may be wrong, but I believe many productive ocean wells were capped by the moratorium -- meaning that opening the Pacific again to drilling doesn't involve years and years of exploration and development, but simply bringing formerly productive wells back on line.
Corker may think he's gotten a lot in exchange for this enormous compromise, but I think he's given away far too much. It's bad enough that the huge reserves of ANWR remain off the table; now we're going to permanently declare most of the Pacific off-limits as well?
Also note that what Corker claims are political victories will likely result in political defeats. It's nice that his compromise gets support for coal-to-oil, but that could take years and years to mature as viable technology. And those nuke plants he says he's gotten support for will take at least ten years to come on line. At the very least.
So if the Republicans allow themselves to be rolled here, what is the likely effect? Oil prices will not come down or will come down by only a bit, thus, in the public's mind, confirming Pelosi's, Kerry's, and Obama's claim that we can't drill our way out of this and so it's futile to try.
For drilling to work -- both politically and as a working policy that the public actually supports -- we need there to be some amount of near-term impact. Corker's compromise almost guarantees we'll have no near-term impact, and thus would destroy any public support for expanded drilling altogether.
Sometimes compromise is the worst of all possible options. Corker is proposing we do just enough to make the public believe the Republicans have gotten their way on drilling, while not actually giving the Republicans their way. Net result: We "own" the compromise here, but the compromise itself does not result in much in the way of positive, measurable near-term results. So we get the triple whammy of 1) not delivering on public hopes for reduced oil prices thus 2) being proved wrong with Nancy Pelosi being proved right while 3) Republcians get all the blame for further destroying our precious environment and unbalancing our delicate ecosystems for no tangible return.
Nancy Pelosi has hedged on whether she'll permit a vote on expanded drilling. This indicates that the GOP's hand is strong (as if the polls weren't confirmation enough) and we should be pressing for a maximalist approach, not the minimalist approach Corker is championing.
Furthermore, Pelosi's claim to be "open-minded" on drilling is of course a lie. If she permitted a vote at all, it would be only a window-dressing concession to the public's demand for more drilling; the only bill she would permit would be very heavy on speculative alternate fuel developments and very light on actual new current fuel development.
In other words, Pelosi's bullshit-let's-pretend-we're-allowing-drilling would look an awful lot like Corker's compromise.
Corker is declaring defeat, and permitting the political enemy here to set the terms of peace on terms very favorable to the enemy, far too early. He may honestly believe he's not giving Obama and Pelosi a life-line, but he's wrong. He's allowing them to escape making a difficult political choice for no good reason, giving us very little in return. We're paying for the dubious privilege of bailing the Democrats out on oil.
It's bad politics, and it's bad policy.
When even the goddamned Washington Post editorial board is calling the Democrats' arguments against expanded drilling "snake oil" and debunking them in no uncertain terms, it's time to recognize that this is an issue we can win on -- both politically and in terms of advancing sound national policy -- and that we should not be offering the Democrats 80% of what they want while only getting 20% of what we want.
Offer them a compromise, sure-- but with those percentages reversed.
This isn't just about politics. It's about undoing an insane and crippling policy that constitutes a clear and present danger in both the economic and national security/military spheres.
inks via Instapundit.
Posted by: topsecretk9 at August 13, 2008 08:41 AM (nNB9t)
Posted by: runninrebel at August 13, 2008 08:42 AM (0n9wc)
I don't think it will ever come to this now that Pelosi has caved on drilling.
Posted by: Gabriel Malor at August 13, 2008 08:44 AM (1Ug6U)
I'd love to see him veto it at least once, and then after that they can change it and "force" it through because of the war funding.
If the Dems do that, it will expose them for what they are and Bush for what he is: a man who has the best interests of the country at heart, not narrow and unreasonable ideology.
Posted by: Christoph at August 13, 2008 08:56 AM (hawOV)
I am sure President Bush knows that letting the drilling ban expire is good for America. The question that remains is whether it is good for GOP, and it's Presidential and Congressional electoral prospects. I think Bush should defer to McCain and Congressional GOP leadership on how to handle this.
Dems don't have the stones to stop funding bills over this. They would stay awake at night in anguish if the taxpayer's money is not being wantonly sqandered by the Government.
Posted by: Tushar at August 13, 2008 08:57 AM (IlgNp)
Posted by: TimMI at August 13, 2008 08:59 AM (7DS5N)
Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 13, 2008 09:03 AM (0+Ggj)
Posted by: topsecretk9 at August 13, 2008 09:12 AM (nNB9t)
It'll be really hard for the Dems to make the case to the non-idiot part of the electorate that it simultaneously wasn't important enough to get this resolved instead of taking a vacation but is so important that they need to go to the mattresses for it.
They already have the idiot vote sowed up.
Posted by: Andy at August 13, 2008 09:17 AM (C3mTI)
Bush needs to get out in front of this now, laying out the facts and predicting that Congress will try to bury this in the CR forcing him to veto it. He needs to loudly and repeatedly tell Congress that if they try this bonehead move it will be the Democrats that have failed the American people. That's the only way to pull this off.
Matter of fact, a primetime address is in order on the eve of Congress' return.
Posted by: pistolero at August 13, 2008 09:22 AM (QuCVu)
Posted by: GarandFan at August 13, 2008 09:26 AM (eJ32B)
Corker: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
I hope Bush doesn't screw us in the name of "bi-partisanship".
Posted by: Iblis at August 13, 2008 09:26 AM (9221z)
I doubt that the Democrats would be blamed for a shutdown. With the media arrayed against them and all the 527/union money available to the Dems it's likely that the Republicans would somehow be blamed. The average person who doesn't know crap won't be able to wade through all the sob stories and media bias to get to the truth.
Bush won't veto the bill anyway, he just doesn't do stuff like cause a government shutdown. He made one bold, but popular at the time, move invading Iraq, fucked it up (temporarily) and ever since has gotten progressively worse and more ridiculous until at this point like Bolton said its an administration in complete intellectual collapse.
Posted by: Big E at August 13, 2008 09:26 AM (uw1/g)
Posted by: Kevin J. at August 13, 2008 09:29 AM (vlzaM)
Posted by: PR at August 13, 2008 09:30 AM (k7SeR)
Fucking Thune is involved with this. I can't believe I fucking gave money to Thune once thinking he wouldn't be an asshole.
Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.
What is it about Republicans?
Posted by: Howard at August 13, 2008 09:35 AM (3PLow)
Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 13, 2008 09:56 AM (0+Ggj)
But here's the thing...in no negotiation is the first deal the best deal. Pro-drilling types have not brought all our weapons to bear yet. Yes, there's a risk in pushing things but the potential good is so much greater than the downside it's near criminal incompetence not to push it.
Suck it up Bob and fight on.
Posted by: DrewM. at August 13, 2008 10:05 AM (hlYel)
Is it true Pickens is trying to drive prices up because it will force people to the alternatives that he approves of (and probably has a financial interest in)? And is it true Pelosi is one of his investors?
Posted by: grc at August 13, 2008 10:08 AM (h4JIA)
Way to fuck up a winning issue, Gang of 10 compromisers.
The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies!
Yeah, the oil companies don't pay enough. Last time I checked Exxon's income statement, taxes were only 50% of their net income. Let's try to get that percentage up to 98%.
There goes McCain's best issue. Maybe he now understands what it's like to be on the other side of Republican maverickyness.
Posted by: Warden at August 13, 2008 10:13 AM (pfpG8)
Is it true Pickens is trying to drive prices up because it will force people to the alternatives that he approves of (and probably has a financial interest in)?
Yes. And I'm invested in Sandridge Energy right along side him just in case. We're sitting on a hell of a lot of natural gas in this country.
Posted by: Warden at August 13, 2008 10:15 AM (pfpG8)
Plus, the local SB TV news is always playing up the "irresponsible oil companies" line. The main target is Greka Oil. To be fair, they do have some serious problems, but the local media plays up every single leak. I've seen them run multiple major stories on a leak of 5-10 gallons of oil.
Posted by: IllTemperedCur at August 13, 2008 10:18 AM (Ds4I5)
It's more complex than that. Look at this story about Pickens, water rights, eminent domain and power transmission lines.
Posted by: IllTemperedCur at August 13, 2008 10:23 AM (Ds4I5)
This is a good companion piece to the link provided by IllTemperedCur regarding the Pickens non-plan.
Posted by: Andy at August 13, 2008 10:36 AM (C3mTI)
Posted by: George Orwell at August 13, 2008 10:45 AM (rf5CF)
Posted by: Arthur at August 13, 2008 11:50 AM (rElR2)
Posted by: BackwardsBoy at August 13, 2008 11:56 AM (ZGhSv)
Unless you mean "I don't care what party does the right thing, as long as it gets done."
Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 13, 2008 12:19 PM (0+Ggj)
Posted by: Bart at August 13, 2008 12:50 PM (8LEAn)
Posted by: John Galt at August 13, 2008 01:01 PM (SDkq3)
The "compromise" is a joke; the regulatory hurdles (inviting environmental and animal rights advocacy groups to the table) will stonewall the approval process. It might as well have been written by the Democrats.
Obama praised it as "progress". Thune (SD) wants more alternatives subsidies (paid for with additional taxes on oil companies), and Chambliss is beholden to those interests too (ranking minority member of Ag, Nutrition and Forestry Committee).
No thank you.
Posted by: Dave in Texas at August 13, 2008 02:01 PM (pzen5)
Posted by: Fox2! at August 13, 2008 02:18 PM (nTLxP)
Republicans in DC don't see this as a political war, so they refuse to lose a battle that would galvanize the base to help win the war.
So any overarching strategy on oil does not exist because that would entail actually pissing off alot of political opponents - and you know, they see them at cocktail parties and stuff so it would be really awkward.
Posted by: jjshaka at August 13, 2008 02:53 PM (LrS9M)
This issue is probably the last and best hope that Republicans can hold on to some power in the form of a filibuster-proof minority, large enough to hold over the feeble ones already mentioned.
If we won drilling in the short term - without the political win - it would be all too easy to reverse, even in the unlikely event McCain wins. People will fail if they try to get in between McCain and any Democrat he wants to deal with.
We need the political win first and that will lead to real and sustained drilling. So I agree.
Posted by: Robert at August 13, 2008 02:55 PM (Rb4Qc)
What Republican genius was the mastermind behind those deals?
Posted by: Socky at August 13, 2008 03:31 PM (d2fuu)
I sent him an email last week when I found out about this nonsense and him being a (RINO) member of the Gang-of-10 expressing my complete disgust with his stand. I have gotten NO response from him.
I called his Nashville office just now and expressed my outrage with this stance. I told her that I might as well vote democrat next time for his opponent because he has proved to be a democrat himself. I want to vote for the real thing and not some lying politician (I know, oxymoron). The lady on the phone said the responses to this issue has been overwhelmingly against Corker's stand. I urged her to inform him that if he persists, I and my wife will be voting against him next election.
Hope this does some good?
Posted by: TennDon at August 13, 2008 03:38 PM (TTjg8)
That's the problem, any energy bill and policy has to cut through the red tape, reduce the lawsuit potential, cut back the environmental impact concerns, and streamline the whole process. We cannot let the entire nation be held hostage by 27 mangy old hippies.
Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 13, 2008 03:47 PM (0+Ggj)
The Stupid Party strikes again! Corker has been in the Senate for two years, yet he is as dense and out of touch as though he has been there for twenty.
Come to think of it - sucking up to the MSM was McCain's shtick as well. Ask him how well that worked out. Notice all the glowing, loving MSM coverage McCain has been getting lately?
Posted by: Mwalimu Daudi at August 13, 2008 05:06 PM (Hlii/)
By the way, you know how everyone is saying that it would take 10 years to get new deep-water production online?
It's bull. I spoke with an internal wholesaler at a major driller two days ago (I work in financial services, we get to do this kind of stuff...) and he said that if new areas were opened up, they could get new wells online within about three years.
Posted by: Mastiff at August 13, 2008 05:30 PM (6giML)
But hey, most especially, it helps incumbent Republicans keep their seats.
And isn't that job number one?
Posted by: Les Nessman at August 13, 2008 05:34 PM (8yfHZ)
That is already a mature technology. The Nazis used it to fuel their tanks in WWII. The research going on is mainly to make it cheaper / more effecient.
Posted by: chad at August 13, 2008 05:44 PM (lNQg8)
But hey, most especially, it helps incumbent Republicans keep their seats.
I'm not sure it will do even that much. Ex-RINO Senator Lincoln Chaffee endorsed John Kerry in 2004, demended that the US cut-and-run in Iraq, and repeatedly bashed Bush leading up to the 2006 elections."Missing Linc" wound up on the short end of a tail-whipping when the votes were counted.
Posted by: Mwalimu Daudi at August 13, 2008 05:45 PM (Hlii/)
Somehow, victory may be grasped on this issue. The Boston Tea Party House members have done exactly the right thing and they will not have wasted their time away from home during what is supposed to be a recess, using their unofficial, but effective, bullypulpit to hammer Nancy into at least talking about thinking about maybe kinda hinting at drilling. No. Her back is against the wall and she's feeling the wrath of the American people, who are suffering at the pump, at the grocery store and in unnecessary tough economic times.
Screw them wimps in the Senate. The House Republicans are carrying the day and these 'go alongs' will shrivel in the face of this groundswell from the populace.
Sorry, but this issue is so simple that even public school educated morons can get it. If the Republicans play this right, they can take the presidency, in spite of this deeply flawed candidate, and maybe even some legislative seats. And again, Bush needs to get out in front of this issue and challenge the Dems to not bring a bullshit bill to his desk that pretends to open up drilling, but is in fact a drill kill bill that's tied to appropriations for continuing the mechanism of government. As far as I'm concerned, they can all pound sand except for the military, anyway.
Smack'em hard. Smack'em often. And let the voters decide.
Posted by: pistolero at August 13, 2008 05:50 PM (hBUN7)
How is this not a win-win?
Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 13, 2008 08:09 PM (/+Wbs)
Posted by: jbinnout at August 13, 2008 11:54 PM (fN3WP)
Now the kicker: there's almost complete agreement among geologists that oil production from *drilled wells* in the channel has drastically reduced pollution from these natural seeps, because it cuts the pressure in the undersea oil reservoir.
In other words, that nasty oil drilling has actually *reduced* oil pollution in the Santa Barbara channel!
But...but...but...oil companies always *cause* pollution, don't they? At least that's what the TeeVee tells us.
Google SB and oil seeps and prepare to be surprised.
Posted by: sf at August 14, 2008 02:55 AM (EsQly)
The MSM would keep up the steady stream of sob stories until the Republicans caved.
Obviously this would transform what should have been a slam-dunk win for the GOP into a net loss. It won't matter that ending the drilling ban is great for the U.S., because emotion trumps long-term good *every time.*
Instead, the GOP should simply hammer the Dems on their refusal to let American companies drill for oil in American waters at a time when oil is over $100 a barrel. That's an issue American voters can grasp pretty easily, and one that should be hard for the MSM to spin into an anti-Republican story.
But for certain, Republicans should NOT do anything that the MSM can spin into "Look! those heartless Repuglicans have shut down the entire U.S. government! And now you're all gonna die!"
Posted by: sf at August 14, 2008 03:30 AM (EsQly)
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