‘Big Oil’ on One Side, Taxpayers on the Other
September 10, 2008
By Susan Jones, Senior Editor
(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats plan to introduce a “comprehensive energy bill” this week, but Republicans say it doesn’t go far enough.
“In fact, this package would permanently put 80 percent of our offshore resources under lock and key,” warned House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.). “That's hardly the kind of comprehensive approach to crafting real energy solutions that the American people are demanding,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Pelosi said Democrats are organized, unified, focused, disciplined and “we’re ready to go,” when it comes to energy policy and a possible stimulus package.
The two are related, Pelosi said, “because they address the economic insecurity of America's working families, and they also address the problems challenging Americans who are out of work.”
Pelosi said the House will vote this week on an energy bill that results from “reasonable compromise.”
She said the bill would expand domestic supply while ending “taxpayer giveaways to Big Oil.” She said the bill “will a clean green future through energy efficiency and conservation, and it will commit America to renewable energy and help create millions of good paying green jobs.”
Pelosi said Republicans back off their ‘drill only' policy. (In fact, Republicans have an “all-of-the above” energy policy, which includes expanded oil drilling but is not limited to expanded oil drilling. It also includes conservation, expanded nuclear power, and the development of alternative energy sources.)
Pick a side
“It will come down to this when it comes to energy: Whose side are you on?” Pelosi asked. “The side of the American consumer and the taxpayer, or Big Oil?”
Pelosi said drilling in new areas on the Outer Continental Shelf must be accompanied by an end to taxpayer subsidies for oil drilling: “So more drilling, no subsidies,” she said.
There are differences between Democrats and Republicans on energy policy, and “we want the American people to see the distinction,” Pelosi said.
“Do you want to drill now on the Continental Shelf? We want our royalties. No more subsidies for you. We want those subsidies and those royalties for LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), for renewable energy resources, for a better energy future for our country."
There are differences between the parties all right, Republicans say. In fact, House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) dismissed the Democrats’ bill as “no energy” legislation.
“The American people want Congress to vote on an energy bill that does it all,” Boehner said. “This proposal does virtually the opposite. It’s an insult to Americans pummeled all summer long by sky-high gas prices, who watched congressional Democrats skip town for five weeks without voting on the comprehensive energy reforms Americans need and want.”
Boehner said the Democrats’ bill would lock up 80 percent of our nation’s offshore energy resources.
“If rank-and-file Democrats are serious about increasing the supply of American-made energy in a comprehensive manner, they should prove it to their constituents by signing onto the (Republican-sponsored) American Energy Act, joining us in calling on the speaker to bring it to an immediate vote, and voting with us to pass it.”
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt said the Democrats' latest energy plan will offer up a sliver of America's deep-ocean oil reserves in exchange for imposing billions in new taxes and new mandates designed to push electricity rates to historic highs.
"Having failed to earn support for their previous four energy bills this year, many of us had hoped that Democrats would return from their five-week-long recess ready to work on meaningful energy legislation and willing to consider an 'all of the above' approach to lowering prices at the pump,’ Blunt said.
"Unfortunately, what we know of the plan right now suggests it's just more of the same from this Democratic majority -- written for the specific purpose of allowing those who oppose responsible energy development a chance to say that they support it, confident that no such development will ever take place.”
Blunt summed up the Democrats’ plan as “less is more” and said it would do very little to bring down the price of gas, diesel or electricity.