While all eyes are diverted to the mess on Wall Street, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are attempting to extend the ban on offshore drilling, which is set to expire October 1. This just in from Jeb Hensarling’s office:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, today issued the following statement after House Democrats released a discussion draft of a continuing resolution that included a provision to actively and permanently prevent exploration of nearly 90 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and block energy production in the Inter-Mountain West:
“On October 1, the bans on offshore drilling and oil shale recovery will expire, enabling us to develop more American energy. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi and Democrats in the House have made clear that they will continue to actively prevent exploration from occurring.
“Since the Democrats took control of Congress, Americans have seen prices at the pump increase by 75 percent. Americans watched as Democrats, led by Speaker Pelosi, took a five-week vacation this summer while they suffered. Americans also watched as Democrats brought a hoax, no energy-energy bill to the floor last week. And today, Americans watch as Democrats prevent access to American energy in a bill designed to keep the government functioning. Once again, when it comes to providing solutions to help lower fuel prices for Americans, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are more out of tune than a rusty piano.
“Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have made clear their desire to appease environmental extremists while fooling the American people into thinking that they support Republican efforts to open up America’s energy resources.”
As recently as last week, leading Democrats were saying that they didn’t have the votes to renew the drilling ban; they are simply outpolled on this issue two-to-one. Now they are hoping the crisis on Wall Street distracts the public long enough for them to extend the ban. (And make no mistake: Their plan, which locks up 90 percent of America’s offshore oil and gas reserves, is an extension of the ban. That’s why the New York Times editorial board and the Sierra Club, with a wink and a nod, have endorsed it.)
The drama unfolding on Wall Street is incredibly compelling, but what’s equally compelling (and related) is that the price of oil just spiked $25 a barrel in one day because nervous investors are pouring their money into commodities. Consumers are still taking a pounding on gas prices, with no relief in sight, and yet the Democrats in Congress want to keep America’s energy reserves — from Alaska to the coast of Florida — off-limits. Time to contact your representatives and let them know we’re still paying attention.