In a little over three weeks, Congress is scheduled to return from their five-week summer vacation. At the top of their agenda will be the oil crisis. Under the current political climate, it will be difficult for Congress to adjourn before Election Day without taking some type of action supposedly designed to relieve the pressure on oil prices. It is becoming clear that the strategy of the Democratic Party is to do as little as possible to increase domestic energy supplies in order to maintain the high price of gasoline.
The congressional ban on expanded drilling in the outer continental shelf, ANWR and other locations in the U.S. expires September 30. Since its implementation in 1981, the ban has been renewed each year as a part of an appropriations bill. Thus far, the democratic dominated Congress has not passed a single appropriations bill for the 2009 fiscal year that begins October 1. They will either have to pass a continuing resolution before they adjourn the 110th Congress or shut down the government for lack of funds.
As the debate nears the deadline, it is beginning to appear that Nancy Pelosi and the socialist/democrats in Congress are intending to “sandbag” the Republicans in order to continue the ban while appearing to the American People to be working on their behalf. Both Obama and Pelosi have signaled a willingness to back away from their adamant opposition to drilling. Both have indicated they would be in favor of permitting more drilling as a part of an overall energy plan.
Meanwhile a group of Republican Congressmen has been staging a protest in the Capitol demanding that Congress cut its vacation short and deal with the crisis. Several Republicans have even expressed a willingness to allow the government to be shut down unless Democrats give in and allow more drilling. What appears to be an advantage for the Republicans, especially with conservatives, has the potential to backfire in favor of the socialist/democrats.
The developing strategy of the Democrats —maybe it has been their strategy all along — seems to be to present a “compromise” bill to congress that allows for a minor expansion of drilling in the OCS off four Southeastern States while continuing the ban otherwise. The Senate already has a similar bill offered by the “Gang of 10” before Congress adjourned at the end of July.
In exchange for the slight lessening of restrictions on drilling, the compromise bill would include a tax on the oil companies’ “windfall profits” and a repeal of tax breaks they are currently getting. There will also be a major hit on the taxpayers for more subsidies to finance alternatives fuels and research into green technology.
Should the Republicans refuse the compromise offered, Pelosi would allow time to run out and shut down the government. The shutdown would then be spun to make it appear to voters that it occurred because of the Republicans unwillingness to work with the Democrats in order to bring down gas prices. This would take place mere weeks before the voters go to the polls. With the assistance of the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, the national media, this could easily turn out to be victory for Democrats.
By the time the American people realized what had actually happened the election would be over, Democrats would be firmly in charge, our energy crisis would still be with us, and there would be nothing we could do about it.
It is obvious that the motivation Pelosi and the Democrats have in opposing drilling for more oil, even in the face of rising prices and a slowing economy, is more than a mere concern for the environment. The primary motivation is a desire to gain control over the American economy. A major stride in this direction has already been taken in response to the mortgage crisis and collapse of some of the major banking institutions.
A takeover of America’s energy supply would be a major victory for the socialist movement. At least two Democratic legislators have already signaled their intentions in that direction. Congressman Hinchey of New York has said the government should own all of our oil refineries and not the oil companies. Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California has also indicated a desire to take over the oil companies.
Nancy Pelosi may have also have a personal financial motive for keeping the price of gasoline as high as possible, in addition to her socialist idealism. Fox News and Michelle Malkin has reveled that Pelosi has a major investment in T. Boon Pickens’ energy business. In her 2007 financial statement Pelosi listed a $250,000 profit from Pickens’ company. She stands to gain financially in any subsidies voted by Congress to Pickens’ energy projects. The state of California is also considering a ballot initiative (No. 10) to “invest” billions in one of Boon’s natural gas projects.
Instead of demanding a vote on expanded drilling, Republicans should be demanding an investigation of Pelosi’s finances. The ideal outcome for the economy and the American people is to simply allow the drilling ban to expire without any action by Congress. That is unlikely so long as the MSM continues to run interference for the Democratic Party and the socialist movement.
The Republican’s high profile protest over the last two weeks may be good for rallying the base, but it makes it more difficult to avoid voting for any compromise bill offered by Democrats since a vote is exactly what they have been demanding with their protest.
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