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The Clock is Ticking

September 23, 2008
Weekly Columns

Time is running out - that is, the amount of time Congress has left to tackle a host of looming issues before the end of its legislative calendar.  Last week, House Democrats approved a sham energy bill that locked up more of our American energy resources under the auspices of "real" energy reform.  This legislation was little more that a political dodge intended to create the impression that Congress is genuinely interested in addressing energy policy when, in fact, they are not.  With gasoline prices on the rise again, and winter heating costs just around the corner, the American people deserved better.

The bill that House Democrat's passed would be better named a "no-energy" bill.  The legislation fails to address the American peoples' need for energy reform in several key ways.  Perhaps most importantly, the legislation removes a powerful incentive for off shore drilling by prohibiting states from sharing in the revenue generated from exploration.  This blatant bait-and-switch was clearly intended to create the impression that Congressional Democrats were supportive of off shore drilling when, in reality, they are not.  If further evidence of their true views on the matter was necessary, they also banned any drilling within 50 miles of the coast.

Having effectively blocked off shore drilling, House Democrats have now turned their attention to making sure we prevent the development of oil shale technologies. This is all in stark contrast to the promises made two years ago by Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat majority when they promised to bring common sense energy solutions to the Congress.  Thus far, all they have actually done is thwart the will of the American people, the will of a majority in Congress, and further politicize an issue that should not be partisan in nature.  An energy bill that caters to only our country's liberal environmental interests is not an all-of-the-above approach.  We need an all-encompassing plan that will increase American-made energy production, encourage more conservation and efficiency and promote sensible alternatives and renewable energies. 

Congress has very little time left to take common sense action to help America achieve energy independence.  And considering the struggles facing our economy it's clear that the time to act is now. By lifting the bans and passing comprehensive energy reforms, we will not only alleviate the pain at the pump, we will also give our economy a much-needed boost.