by Jerome Armstrong, Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 12:00:08 PM EDT
There's little doubt that the Democratic leadership in congress is in the process of getting rolled over the exploration of offshore oil on the US coasts. Unfortunately, progressives in Congress have been on the sidelines over the past month, and have left the energy debate to be engaged by Republicans with more conservative Democrats.
It's good to see Senator Brown stepping up to show some leadership on the issue, acknowledging, like Senator Webb recently did, that more drilling for oil is going to happen in the US. It's inevitable with $4 gas. I wrote about this a few weeks back, and the comments were about split-- half adamant in resistance, and half that acknowledged the political environment.
Hopefully Pelosi pulls her head out of the clouds and begins to show some leadership in the House by accepting drilling for oil, but packaging it with a slew of non-carbon energy solutions into a bill that does seriously address the nation's energy issue.
Obama, to date, has counted himself among the 12 percent that strongly disfavor drilling for more US oil. I'll bet you a dollar he changes on that too (if he's willing to tout coal he'll pump oil too for the midwestern vote). What's particularly foolish is the claim that he advertises for being against offshore drilling-- that it will take 7 years before the drilling delivers. But then, Obama has long hyped coal as the answer to the US energy problems, even though one of his potential VP's points out its even more of a long-term source, and hypothetical at that:
Obama who likes to brag about his ability to bring bipartisanship solutions to DC, has positioned himself terribly in the debate, and Reid has not done much better. Unless the progressives in congress get off their butt and show some leadership, we are going to see a bill pass that gives everything to carbon-based exploration, and nothing toward renewable solutions. Hopefully Webb and Brown are able to bring more to the table beyond drilling.