Democrats are obsessed with the idea of laying the blame of record high gasoline prices on someone – George Bush, OPEC or anyone who doesn’t ride a bicycle to work. But maybe Dems should look in a mirror. The Democrats voted four times in the past year against money-saving, domestic oil production plans – plans that lower the price at the pump and return billions of dollars to the pockets of Americans.
In a letter to President Bush on May 12th, Democratic leaders said, “unfortunately, despite recent entreaties by you and Vice President Cheney, OPEC has voted three times in the last year against raising production, meaning rising gas prices continue to sap a greater portion of Americans’ paychecks.”
Democrats do not mention the past four Democratic votes against increased domestic oil production in US. Dating back to June 2007, Democrats consistently vote down domestic oil production in favor of foreign dependence.
Dems rejected the “Gas Price Act” on June 13, 2007 which planned to improve domestic fuels security. On June 14, 2007, Democrats rejected Sen. John Warner’s (R-Va) proposal to authorize the State of Virginia to petition for authorization to conduct gas exploration and drilling activities in the coastal zone of the State. On June 19, 2007, Democrats denied Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky) proposal to provide standards for clean coal-derived fuels.
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) sponsored the most recent domestic energy proposal in Senate. The Senators’ plan, titled “The American Energy Production Act” (S.2958), projects a production of 24 billion barrels of oil domestically as well as opens up the potential of oil shale and coal-to-liquid technology.
This excess oil comes from areas where oil is already known to be available, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plan (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The two areas, in addition to providing oil, produces hundreds of thousands of jobs and saves the U.S. economy approximately $40 billion annually.
Had former President Clinton not vetoed ANWR in 1995, America would have 1 million barrels of oil per day produced domestically. This would have eliminated much dependence on radical regimes in the Middle East and kept gas prices from rising.
In regards to OCS, already the Cubans, with the help of communist China, attempt to get a greedy fist on the available oil off the coast of Florida. American policy prohibits Americans from reaping the benefits of the area. Fidel Castro can drill, America cannot.
The clean coal-derived section of the Domenici-McConnell plan mandates the production of 6 billion gallons of coal-derived fuels by 2022. The United States is one of the leading countries in coal reserves. This plan provides a 3.75 percent reduction in oil imports by that same year.
Democrats rejected the Domenici-McConnell plan by a 42-56 vote on May 13th . So, what is the Democrats’ alternative idea?
Dems propose several “new” plans for 2008, including anti-price gouging laws, laws against OPEC price fixing, a roll back on oil company tax breaks, and the infamous Windfall Profits Tax. The common theme with these brilliant ideas? None can promise any more oil. So much for trying to actually solve the oil production problem…
And don’t be deceived by the Dem’s claims at the ingenuity of these proposals. In fact, the best laboratory available – history – tested and proved all four of the main ideas unworkable.
In terms of the big ‘ole meanies – the oil companies – engaging in price gouging during national disasters: this popular conspiracy theory of Democrats dates all the way back to 1974. Sen. “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wash.) said in 1974 that the oil companies so-called energy crisis is, “a cover to eliminate the major source of price competition – the independents, to raise prices, to repeal environmental laws, and to force adoption of new tax subsidies.”
Liberals still claim this price-gouging argument as valid with regards national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Never mind the fact that the San Francisco Chronicle reported federal investigators “could find no evidence that gasoline prices across the country were manipulated or that oil companies colluded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”
The fight against OPEC is also long-running with statements made against the organization by former President Carter’s adviser’s and former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 1979. After almost three decades of finger pointing, it’s pretty clear that verbal jousting OPEC will not go anywhere.
And neither will the concept of a roll back on oil company tax breaks. This was also the Democratic plan back in 2006. Didn’t work then, won’t work now.
And Democrats never tire of looking to failed formulas.
Although Obama, Clinton and all the rest of the Dems seem so enthusiastic about the Windfall Profits Tax, Senate actually instituted the tax in 1980 under the Carter Administration. Funny thing is – Senate repealed the tax in 1988. Why? Mainly due to the tax’s heavy burden for tax payers and increased American reliance on foreign oil supplies.
So the real “kicker” is the Democrats’ constant attack on foreign oil suppliers while simultaneously increasing our reliance on those same sources. They refuse to entertain the possibility of more oil production at home. Democrats are a-ok with producing more foreign oil but not oil from the United States. Apparently more US dependence on foreign nations like Saudi Arabia and Iraq is a good idea to Democrats?