Fire up the smoke machines and break out the mirrors. The Democrats are about to pretend they support offshore drilling. From The Washington Post.
Congressional Democrats, balancing political reality against a policy they have long opposed, are on the cusp of approving legislation that would open the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to oil drilling as close as 50 miles offshore.With votes scheduled this week in the House and Senate, Democrats have essentially given up defending the current ban on drilling within 200 miles offshore along both coasts. Instead, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), they are offering a mix of proposals that would allow drilling, with the waters off Massachusetts, Virginia and Georgia most likely to be the first affected.
Keep in mind that the current ban is on any drilling within 200 miles of the coast. If I am not mistaken, international waters begin 12 nautical miles off the coast. So Cuba and China can drill, at say 20 miles from our coast, but we cannot drill for 200 miles off the same coast. Anyway, here is Pelosi's plan.
Pelosi took the first formal step Wednesday by unveiling a proposal that would open the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to drilling at least 100 miles offshore. If governors and state legislatures agree, drilling off each state's coast would be allowed 50 miles from shore.Pelosi had previously suggested opening only portions of the southeastern Atlantic coast and some of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling, but ultimately offered to allow drilling off both coastlines. The eastern gulf off Florida's west coast would remain off-limits.Under the Pelosi bill, scheduled for a vote Tuesday, the federal government would not share royalties with the states, devoting the money instead toward federal funding for renewable energy resources. Taxes on oil companies would be increased, with that revenue also going to alternative energy sources.
So Pelosi, on the east and west coasts only, will pull back the 200 mile limit to 100 miles, and to 50 miles if the governors of the affected states agree. So would any drilling actually get done under that proposal?
Some industry experts question the effect of the proposals, citing federal studies that show that more than 80 percent of known oil reserves are inside the 50-mile limit and therefore unavailable. Very little is known about oil reserves beyond 100 miles. Waters off almost the entire Pacific coast -- where *all three governors oppose drilling at the 50-mile* barrier -- is considered too deep for drilling 100 miles offshore.
So none of the west coast governors will play ball, so the limit stays at 100 miles, where it is too deep drill. Nothing happening in the Pacific.What about the Atlantic?
With revenue sharing, Virginia and Georgia would quickly approve offshore drilling at the 50-mile mark, Kennedy and some environmental experts predicted. The biggest target for new drilling at the 100-mile mark would be in the Georges Bank, off the coasts of Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, where cod fishing was once the dominant industry.
Alas, Pelosi's plan does not offer any revenue sharing with the states, thereby removing any incentive for them to drill. There goes the Atlantic.But what about the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico?
The most sought-after area, however, is the eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida's western coast. Drilling rigs already operate in the gulf off Houston, New Orleans and Mississippi, giving oil producers a near-certain guarantee of finding oil near Florida. It also would be less costly for producers to move their production and delivery systems to the other side of the gulf than to place new rigs in previously unexplored regions of the Atlantic or Pacific.
Well, Pelosi's plan would not allow it at all and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, to put it mildly, doesn't like the idea either.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has vowed to filibuster any legislation that would open the waters off Florida's western beach resorts, to protect his state's tourism industry and the military testing areas for Navy and Air Force bases in the region. "If they want to get something done, they have to deal with me," Nelson said in an interview Friday.
The Senate has a plan that would not allow any drilling in the Pacific, limit Atlantic drilling to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, but would allow drilling off Florida's west coast.
So the Democrats' plan allows no drilling in the Pacific, no drilling in the Atlantic due to a lack of revenue sharing with the states, and no drilling off Florida.
That is not an offshore billing proposal. It is a bunch of 9% approval-rating buffoons thinking they can fool us that they are doing something to fight the energy crunch.
Also find Bill Dupray at The Patriot Room