Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.), below, is emerging as the voice of the Democratic Party on the gas-price crisis. Republicans ought to make him the poster boy for Democratic efforts to choke off new domestic supplies.
Before 9/11, Durbin accused President Bush of a "drill and burn" mindset and pushed through an amendment to ban oil drilling anywhere in the millions of acres of new "national monument" land that President Clinton had created by executive order. "People can drill for oil and gas on these new monuments designated by President Clinton," Durbin lamented on the Senate floor. "That is so shortsighted."
After 9/11, Durbin’s views on domestic oil production did not change. He has consistently opposed new drilling in Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge, off the East and West coasts, or in the Great Lakes. With demand for oil increasing without a commensurate increase in supply — causing gas prices to rise above $3.00 per gallon — "No Drilling" Dick keeps pounding the same environmentalist message while irrationally blaming Bush for rising prices. "When President Bush was elected President … the average price of gasoline was $1.50. Today, it’s almost twice that amount," Durbin told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto last week. "And, so, under his watch, we have seen a dramatic upsurge in the cost of oil."
What’s "No Drilling" Dick’s solution? He wants the U.S. to "start moving toward wind power, solar power, geothermal, [and] alternative fuels."