Saturday, July 19, 2008

Democrats Call Republicans' Bluff on Drilling

The past month has seen President Bush throw his pet project of removing the ban on drilling for oil on the OCS into every speech, no matter the topic. The implication is always the same: that gas prices are high because those mean Democrats in Congress won't remove the ban on drilling, and have nothing at all to do with Phil Gramm's work to leave the energy futures market completely devoid of even the barest of regulations. As I have written several times, oil companies already own leases on 68 million acres on which to drill, but they have thus far declined to do so. And why wouldn't they? They're pulling in obscene profits and have no incentive to supply more oil to the market.

Faced with the constant drumbeat and accusations, House Democrats on Thursday called the Republicans' bluff, attempting to introduce a bill which would force the oil companies to drill on the land they already have. The implication is clear: the President's call for drilling has nothing to do with lowering oil prices and everything to do to twisting a perceived crisis into a shiv to cut away all obstacles to his master plan.

Republicans, immune to rational thought as they are, promptly defeated the proposal, attempting to convince anyone who would listen that all 68 million of the acres in question were "dry holes."

I'm no lover of Democrats, but in this instance they clearly illustrated where the real agenda of the Republicans lies. And it's not with poor grandma struggling to fill the tank on her Suburban.


Pure Speculation, June 12
More Erroneous Responses to High Oil Prices, June 21

Sphere: Related Content


Gwynplaine said...

While I agree in principle with most expressed, I don't necessarily agree that our reaction to a string of significant and deadly provocation was meddling in the domestic strife of a neutral and disinterested party. Although I certainly agree that our reaction was misdirected and wholly antithetical to our interests.

Tim said...

I'm not sure to which post you're referring, but to respond to the greater point: I realize that nothing in international relations is as clear cut as we try to make it. In Iraq, for instance, the decision to invade was a poor one, but to paint Saddam Hussein as anything less than a tyrant would be to ignore history.

I think that what repels me the most about Bush/McCain foreign policy, though, is that they seem capable of dealing only in absolutes. There is no reason or sense of understanding in their policies, only "Tarzan, good. You, bad."

As to why we tend to gravitate to polemic views of international relations, I surmise that it stems from the uncomfortable nature of unanswered questions. As illustrated by both religious and political zeal, the human mind does not deal well with ambiguity, and thus requires all intellectual currency to be in the form of absolutes.

Obviously, the real world doesn't work that way.