Saturday, August 16, 2008

Democrats Shift on Drilling

The Gang of Ten proposal seems to have broken the logjam on energy policy. Nancy Pelosi indicated a willingness to put forward a plan included expanded drilling on the OCS.

Democratic proposals to tap the nation's petroleum reserve, curb oil speculation and force oil companies to drill on already leased federal lands were blocked by Republicans trying to force votes on offshore drilling.

Yet any vote on drilling is likely to force the Republicans' hand, since it will likely be packaged with unpopular proposals to tap the petroleum reserve and recoup unpaid royalties from the late 1990s to pay for renewable energy projects.

"This comprehensive Democratic approach will ensure energy independence which is essential to our national security, will create millions of good paying jobs here at home in a new green economy, and will take major steps forward in addressing the global climate crisis," said Pelosi, who criticized Republicans' "drill only" plan.

Republicans view this proposal as a Trojan Horse to bring in things that they view unfavorably.

Hopefully we will begin to seem more motion towards a plan that does more than just drill. Something like my proposed compromise may emerge as both sides start to move.