With fewer than 20 legislative days before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the entire appropriations process has largely ground to a halt because of the ham-handed fighting that followed Republican attempts to lift the moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration. And after promising fairness and open debate, Pelosi has resorted to hard-nosed parliamentary devices that effectively bar any chance for Republicans to offer policy alternatives.
“I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,” she says impatiently when questioned. “I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy.”
I wish the interviewer had further prodded Madame Speaker and asked her where she found the Constitutional authority to "save the planet".
On the right we have Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who recently went on an energy tour that included ANWR. Debunking the Democrats claims that there is plenty of oil available for drilling under current leases, Rep. Bachmann retorts:
Rep. Bachmann has also opposed the wretched homeowner bailout and she is calling on President Bush to veto the bill which she refers to as a "blank check" to the treasury.
The Democrats' focus on the National Petroleum Reserve is also striking. While it contains comparable known reserves to ANWR -- 10.6 billion barrels compared to an estimated 10.4 billion barrels in the wildlife refuge -- its fields are spread over 23 million acres. The portion of ANWR territory that should be opened to exploration covers a mere 2,000 acres. The National Petroleum Reserve's fields are a little over 250 miles from the current pipeline infrastructure, while ANWR is only 75 miles away. To top it off, currently there is no production in the National Petroleum Reserve because of ongoing litigation.
By focusing on a patch of Arctic tundra more spread out than ANWR, a greater distance from current pipelines, and subject to lawsuits not addressed by the legislation, the Democrats chose to respond to American cries for expedited drilling in such a way that would have made it harder to produce energy.
Who is right and who is wrong here? How the American people continue to be fooled by the likes of Nancy Pelosi is beyond comprehension. Something tells me it won't be that way for long. As the old saying goes "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
Oh yeah, if you'd like to tell Madame Pelosi what you think of her you can call her at 202-225-0100.