Oily Congress

, Rachel Paulk, Leave a comment

Following the U.S. House of Representative’s largely partisan vote for adjournment Friday, Republican Congressmen remained on the floor all day in a response to Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to vote on the “American Energy Act”—a bill addressing the energy crisis facing Americans today.

Republican congressmen are now staging sit-ins reminiscent of the hippy protests of Vietnam—except instead of flower children holding “make love, not war” signs, these weathered politicians have gathered to rail against the Democrats’ refusal to address the energy crisis.

Both the minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) and party Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) attended the protest Friday as an official GOP endorsement, and the Republican Congressmen on the floor vow to protest until a vote is called, regardless of the Democrats’ vacation time.

To date for the year 2008, over 100 bills have been introduced to the House and about 50 to the Senate from both the Democratic representatives and the Republican representatives addressing the energy crisis. The solutions to America’s oil problem that these bills and acts carry are strictly divided along partisan lines. Republicans push to increase supply by building new refineries and drilling for oil in America, while most Democrats seek to decrease demand by completely committing to alternative energy sources and increasing public transportation.

As a result of this divide, Speaker Pelosi has not allowed votes on any of the energy bills. Michele Bachmann(R-MN) stated that “The Democrats control the House and the Democrats control the Senate—and they haven’t indicated that they’re going to move off of the global warming dime.” House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s comments to Politico.com—“I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet.”—only support Bachmann’s assertion.

The “American Energy Act” focuses on both increasing the supply of oil through drilling and further developing American alternative energy abilities. Despite the Act’s bipartisan focus on energy, the Democrat-controlled Congress has neglected to enact the strong legislation tackling the crisis. In an “open letter to Speaker Pelosi,” the Congressmen state as follows:

“Many of the proposals we have asked you and your Democrat majority to allow us to vote on are bipartisan proposals that we believe would enjoy the support of a majority of the Members of the Congress. Yet because you and your Democrat Leadership personally oppose these proposals, you are not allowing them to come up for a vote.”

The last governmental impediment to drilling is a Congressional drilling ban, as President Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling that had been in place for about a quarter century. The Congressional ban on offshore drilling is set to expire on October 1 of this year, unless Congress votes to extend the ban.

America is replete with untapped sources of oil that could virtually eliminate the oil crisis, were we able to drill. The left’s environmental idealism comes at a price—currently about $4.10 per gallon.

Rachel Paulk is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.


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