Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Democrats To Relent On Offshore Drilling Ban

From the AP via the Huffington Post Newswire:

Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election.

Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices spiked this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.

"If true, this capitulation by Democrats following months of Republican pressure is a big victory for Americans struggling with record gasoline prices," said House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio.


"The White House has made it clear they will not accept anything with a drilling moratorium, and Democrats know we cannot afford to shut down the government over this," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "We look forward to working with the next president to hammer out a final resolution of this issue."

Click here for the rest.

Okay, this completely encapsulates why I so hate the Democrats. They know, fucking know, that more offshore drilling will do nothing to ease prices at the pump. It will do nothing in the short term because it will take a decade or more for oil companies to get their operations up and running. It will do nothing in the long term because the amount of oil coming from these future offshore operations will be negligible in terms of affecting the world oil market--virtually all economists are telling us this. The Democrats know this. Republicans know it, too, but they're just fine with lying to the public, which they do all the time anyway, so this is very much their thing. Democrats, on the other hand, are supposed to be above this kind of pandering bullshit. They ought to be leading instead of caving.

But here we are.

They whine that it would be shutting down the government, and they just can't afford to do it. But so what? They would have the truth on their side: it would be Bush shutting down the government if he vetoed the bill, not Congress. Bunch of fucking pussies. I mean, it's very cool that they're standing up to the White House on the Big Bailout and all, but right in the middle of their Adlai Stevenson moment, they fuck it up with caving on drilling.

They do this again and again and again. What good are they?