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Another Surrender — Why Now?
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Another Surrender

Update: Here’s the vote on HR 6899.

CNN reports that the House OKs bill allowing more offshore oil drilling

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The House of Representatives on Tuesday night passed an energy bill clearing the way for more oil drilling off U.S. coasts, but not nearly as much as Republican leaders wanted.
The bill would expand offshore oil drilling, but not to the extent that many Republicans want.

The bill was passed by a vote of 236-189.

Many Republicans opposed the bill because it would allow new oil drilling only between 50 and 100 miles offshore. Republicans generally want to allow new drilling starting 3 miles from shore.

Republicans also objected to provisions repealing tax cuts for the oil industry and what they said was a lack of incentive for states to allow drilling on their land.

Pelosi surrenders, it is that simple. There was no need for this to even come up. You can’t filibuster in the House and there is supposed to be a Democratic majority. Pelosi was afraid the Republicans were going to make rude noises and surrendered.

Some will claim that this doesn’t give the Republicans everything they want, but those people forget what happened with the FISA bill. The bill that finally comes out of the conference committee will give the Republicans the right to drill on beaches if the oil companies want it, because Harry Reid will demand the changes for the Senate. Gutless, that’s the Democratic Congressional leadership.


1 hipparchia { 09.16.08 at 11:59 pm }

damn. damn damn damn damn damn.

not that i’m surprised though.

2 Bryan { 09.17.08 at 12:13 am }

This is why Congress has lower ratings than even the Shrubbery. They are totally craven.

3 Kryten42 { 09.17.08 at 1:12 am }

Ehhh… If Pelosi were a man, she’d be a eunuch. Is there such a thing as a female eunuch? I mean… obviously there is, Pelosi proves that… I don’t know what the proper terminology is. I mean, one could use the descriptive terms such as: coward, hypocrite, liar, criminal, etc… but they are simply accurate descriptive referents and do not quite capture the essence of the term *eunuch*. 🙂 Of course, it isn’t only Pelosi, it applies to the majority of the Democrat’s in Congress.

It’s very easy to see why the Republicans have a good chance at winning the Prez election. The Dems are simply making it ‘nolo contendere’ (Latin for ‘I do not wish to contest’, or more commonly, ‘no contest’, to save people looking that up). 😉

4 cookie jill { 09.17.08 at 1:36 am }

Watch for the offshore land grab off the coast of Santa Barbara.

5 jan { 09.17.08 at 8:41 am }

Folks, the oil companies will never get near the shore to drill because the radical environmentalists will take them to court and tie them up for years. The bill in the House gives no cure for that. The Democrats and Republicans know this which leads me to ask the question: why bother doing anything at all? This is nothing more than a gimmick to fool people into believing that the democrats are doing something because Pelosi is scared that the republicans have got a point and may win seats in November. It’s a hedge against that. Personally, I’d like to see my gas prices go down but I’m not going to rely on the U.S. government to do it for me. We should be insulted that we got duped into electing more democrats in the first place! What have they done that they promised to do?

6 LeftLeandingLady { 09.17.08 at 8:51 am }

And try finding a copy of the damn thing on the Library of Congress website. Have you noticed that the Bill # is not usually posted in the news story? Because that would have made it too easy to figure out if my Rep voted for or against the damn thing.

This makes me sick.

7 Bryan { 09.17.08 at 11:22 am }

LLL, I added a link to the vote in the update, and put a link to all Congressional roll call votes on the blogroll.

I would expect that Santa Barbara would be first on the list, Jill, because it is a proven field with existing facilities on the shore and no hurricanes.

Jan, the “radical environmentalists” who will be opposing the drilling off the Florida Panhandle will include: the Department of Defense, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida tourism bureau, the League of Cities, every major hotel chain, every property management firm on the coast, every home and condo association on the coast, the fishing industry [both recreational and commercial], and every Florida legislator who wants to get re-elected.

When your economic life depends on the military and tourism, as the Panhandle’s economy does, you don’t appreciate “compromises” that threaten it.

Oil is a global market. British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell, don’t give a tinker’s damn about the cost of a gallon of gasoline in Ute, Iowa. Crude oil is sold to the highest bidder. Most, if not all of the oil pumped out of Alaska is headed for refineries in Asia, not the US.

8 JAN { 09.18.08 at 7:08 am }

Bryan, you are correct, we do not have the refineries here in the USA to refine the oil from Alaska. We send it to Asia for refining and then bring it back here for gasoline and other distillates. Sound crazy? It is but that is the cheapest way to do it. Good point though on the local government folks fighting the offshore drilling. The republicans in congress have everyone believing that the states will jump all over this but they won’t. Especially with the bill in its current form because it does not provide any royalty payments to local governments the way that Alaska does, although Alaska gets most of their revenues through taxes on the oil that is exported. At least Alaska does this so that if the bottom falls out of the oil market and oil goes back down to $15 a barrel (yeah right), the taxes the oil company pay go down as well because the tax rate is adjustable based on the price.

Also, let’s not forget that the current bill only allows drilling outside of 50 miles from the shore. Most of the oil is located within that 50 miles which then leads to the question, how close do you drill? 15 miles from shore, you can see an oil rig. It’s not bigger or more noticeable than a large container ship from that distance but you can see it. The last rub, out of the 86 billion barrels of oil that are said to be offshore, only about 30% of it is even recoverable. Think about a tube of toothpaste.

When you first buy the toothpaste, you squeeze it really easy to get it out. Later, it gets harder and harder and you never do get all of it out. Oil is kind of like that. All of this fighting and politicking for offshore oil is going to yield about 25 billion barrels of oil total ever and that’s if the “experts” are correct about how much is out there.

Bottom line, we need to get off of oil but the government is not going to help until its too late. After all, do you see people waiting around for the government to pass a bill to deal with gas prices? No, people took it upon themselves to buy smaller, cheaper and more full efficient cars (at least those who could afford to do so and did it before everyone else did). The SUV is all but extinct except for those that don’t have to drive far. The market did that not the government.

9 Bryan { 09.18.08 at 12:00 pm }

You need a reality check, Jan: it is sold to Asia because they will pay more for crude than US refiners and it never comes back. It’s the free market at work – the oil companies sell to the highest bidder. British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell don’t really care all that much about the US oil independence to begin with, and like Exxon they are in it for the money which is currently in Asia. It’s a world market and there is nothing that can be done to affect the price of a global commodity. Attempting to “bring down the price of gasoline” is a fool’s errand of Congress.

You reduce the cost of oil by reducing the use of oil. Jimmy Carter told people what to do, but it was inconvenient so they are faced with today’s problems. Voters preferred Reagan’s lies to reality, so they got what they asked for, a mess.

“The market” didn’t do a damn thing. People act, not some mythical market. The “free market” is only free when it is regulated to ensure equality by buyers and sellers. Any market that permits corporations to participate is neither free nor capitalist.

10 JAN { 09.25.08 at 4:58 pm }

Check these Websites out Bryan. There is a refining bottleneck. Oil is shipped all over the world because we haven’t been allowed to build a new refinery in 30 years.


If we tried to regulate the oil market as you say with the goal of keeping prices down (I guess, because I can’t imagine what else you would want to do), then the oil companies really would sell it somewhere else because they can get more money for it. If you had your way, the whole world would probably be a socialist haven with all aspects of business controlled. Yeah, let’s squelch all ingenuity out of the market by letting the government regulate everything. I’ll tell you this, I work for a government agency and I can tell you first hand, you don’t want the government running things: remember the lines in the former Soviet Union to buy everything from shoes to cars made out of cardboard?

11 Bryan { 09.25.08 at 8:38 pm }

There is no refining bottleneck. The numbers of refineries have been reduced to maximize profits by keeping the refineries busy. There isn’t any excess refining capacity because the oil companies don’t want it.

Those refineries on the West Coast can buy crude cheaper from Mexico than Alaska, so they do, and the Alaskan crude goes to Asia.

I’m telling you that the “free market” is an artificial construct that only works if there is consistent regulation which is rather basic to any understanding of capitalism. If you want to know what happens is a deregulated market start reading about Enron or listen to the discussions of the current bailout. Greed always takes over and destroys the “free market” without regulation. The basic principle behind the “invisible hand” of the market is risk. The whole purpose of a corporation is to limit risk. If risk is limited, the “free market” fails, because greed runs rampant. For the “free market” to work, regulation has to replace risk to maintain a level, competitive market.