House votes to lift ban on offshore drilling
by Jerome Armstrong, Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 08:10:03 PM EDT
There you go, as expected, nothing but a charade:
Pelosi hailed the 236-189 vote as a victory because the bill also included Democratic priorities such as stripping oil companies of $18 billion in tax breaks, renewing expiring tax credits for wind and solar, and requiring electric utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020.
The measure "will put us on the path toward energy independence" and make "Big Oil pay for its fair share of our transition to a clean, renewable energy future," Pelosi said.
The bill faces a very uncertain future. The Senate is set to take up three separate energy bills, which differ sharply from the House measure. The White House issued a veto threat today, saying the House bill "purports to open access to American energy sources while in reality taking actions to stifle development."
So what will happen, instead of Democrats having grabbed this issue and wrapped it up in a real package of renewables, conservation, and multi-resource exploration months ago?
Senate Republicans may choose to block action on any energy bill and allow the moratorium to expire on Sept. 30. If the drilling ban lapses, the Bush administration could begin the process of preparing oil and gas lease sales in new areas as close as three miles offshore.
And that, democrats, is how we lost not only an issue, but a chance to transform our nation's dependency on fossil fuels for the near future.