This morning on the radio I read EPU’S post, Kevin’s post, and Gamecock’s citation of Texas Ace’s comment.
There is a common trait in each post that Texas Ace sums up quite well.
By caving now, Saxby Shambles and Little Lord Fauntleroy, (as Doc calls him) have bailed them out of their predicament at the exact moment when the Republican party is on the brink of victory. This wouldn’t be so infuriating were it the first time they have done this but it’s not. They always time their capitulation at times that either cause maximum damage to the Republican Party or as in this case…to bail out the Democrats at a time when Republicans are winning!
Rush, in fact, makes a similar point talking with Saxby Chambliss. The GOP is winning on this issue. The Gang of 10 compromise takes away the only issue on which the GOP is winning.
That focus, internally, is okay. But we should also keep in mind that the Gang of 10 compromise harms the national interest even more than it harms the GOP interest.
National Interest vs. the GOP’s Interest
There is widespread agreement that the OCS off Florida and California have the largest untapped oil and natural gas reserves. Opening up Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and the Florida Gulf Coast is a canard. Exhibit A is this. Knowledgeable geologists say there is no oil accessible off the Georgia coast, except in a marine reserve that this compromise won’t allow access to. While the Gulf of Mexico reserves off Florida will be accessible, the Atlantic side will not be. We’re already getting a good bit out of the Gulf. We need the Atlantic.
The GOP members of the gang are also happy to yank tax incentives for oil companies that other companies get. They are, in fact, buying into the anti-oil industry myth that accuses the oil industry of being too rich. No matter than the oil industry only makes 7 cents per dollar sold of gas.
More so, the Gang of 10 seems somehow to believe that by giving huge incentives for alternative energy, we will somehow abandon our addiction to oil overnight. While this is an appropriate long term strategy, we need short term relief.
Saxby Chambliss told Rush Limbaugh that by merely talking about this issue, the price of a barrel of oil has plummeted. Assuming that is true, which really isn’t the safest assumption, but assuming that is true, imagine how much more the price of a barrel of oil would fall if we expanded drilling through the OCS and tapped our shale oil reserves — another something this legislation does not allow (it also does not address ANWR).
Doing nothing is better than the compromise
The sad fact is that by doing nothing, Congress will leave the nation better off than it will by acting on the Gang of 10’s compromise. By doing nothing, the Congressional ban on OCS exploration and drilling will lapse for the entire United States, not just Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.
Saxby Chambliss, John Thune, Bob Corker, Johnny Isakson, and Lindsey Graham didn’t just throw their party under the bus for a politically convenient compromise. They threw the short and long term interests of the American people and our national security under the bus.
This plan does nothing to alleviate our dependence on the Middle East.