Now that Nancy Pelosi has aligned herself with the 70+ percent of Americans who favor offshore drilling, the debate will shift to where, how much, and under what terms. She has now seen where the American People are headed, and is attempting to get back in front to lead.
Thus far, it has been GA Republicans – Chambliss, Isakson, Westmoreland, Price, and Gingrey – that have been at the forefront of this battle. GA Dems have remained largely quiet.
I have no doubt that Pelosi’s strategy is to grant the most limited drilling she can, while enacting a bill full of platitudes that will amount to promises of an America powered by magic unicorns by 2016. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Chambliss and Isakson have already reached across the isle. I have been told directly by one of the House Republicans that they’re open to all suggestions in order to get the drilling they are looking for.
Democrats should quit worrying as they go to sleep at night that some oil company, somewhere, might make some money. They will. The government will make 4 times as much. So instead of trying to figure out how to torture oil executives, why not quantify some things you want and get it into a good bill, that is neither Republican nor Democrat, but is just good for America?
A couple of months ago, I posted something called “The Icarus Energy Plan“, which consisted of:
1) Drilling in all coastal areas of the US and ANWAR. A portion of the royalties retained by the federal government shall be reserved for environmental protection and mitigation in the direct drilling area.
2) A new imported oil tax, to shift demand preferences from “cheaper” foreign oil to favor domestic supplies.
3) Building at least 2 new domestic refineries
4) Streamline and fast track new nuclear reactors, and allow taxpayer backed bonds to finance the construction
5) Fast track new windfarms where they are viable
6) Expand tax credits for energy efficient improvements (hybrid or diesel cars, hydrogen infrastructure, coal liquification)
7) A new tax on gasoline, starting in two years and regularly increasing thereafter, to demonstrate to consumers that “cheap” gas isn’t coming back, but to allow time for consumers to upgrade cars on their current cycle of obsolescence.
I’ve got a few other ideas, and wish to expand on a few of the above. I’ll hold them back for now. I want to see what ideas the Peach Pundit readers have. Quite a few of our lawmakers have staked a claim on this issue. It appears there will be some kind of bill. What do you want to see in it?