President Bush has already started the demonizing of congressional Democrats for not giving in and repealing the 1981 law that banned offshore oil drilling. Now the GOP members of Congress are chiding in as well…it was to be expected. CNN reports (“Bush: Congress Standing between Americans and Offshore Oil,”http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/15/bush.oil/index.html, June 15, 2008 ) that

“Congressional Republicans joined the president in pressing the Democrats to repeal the drilling ban.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, accused congressional Democrats of standing “in the way of more American-made energy” and pushed for legislation that would not only permit offshore drilling but also allow oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and the processing of oil-containing sand in the West. Democrats have repeatedly blocked oil exploration in ANWR, arguing that it would damage the fragile Arctic environment”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said “$4-a-gallon gasoline is unacceptable to the American people and unacceptable to the Republicans in Congress, and we want to do something about it. And doing something about it involves both finding more and using less. We need to do both.”

Amazing. Like a kneejerk reaction the Republican leadership in the House and Senate figured out that the real impediment to solving our high gas prices today must be the Congressional Democrats since they clearly must like high gas prices! Where do these clowns come from? Perhaps they should look to their own leadership (or lack thereof) when it came to the administrations original energy policy which focused predominantly on…you guessed it…oil and coal. Vice President Cheney made no effort to have his task force which drafted this policy to look beyond the immediate future and see that one day oil would run out. Is this current crisis just this administration’s fault? Clearly not. We’ve known this day is coming for many years. The Reagan administration, the first Bush administration, and the Clinton administration all did nothing when it came to preparing the U.S. for this day. At the very least I could forgive them a degree for their lack of vision. However this administration could see this coming for quite a while…and they chose to do nothing visionary when it came to alternative energy development. And now they and their Republican cohorts in Congress figure that “when in doubt…drill” and the blame for the current crisis can be foisted onto the Democrats. Sorry GOP — you’re just as responsible for the problem as the Democrats. And the idea of drilling as a solution to this problem — come on…get real. It will take quite a long time for the oil that is discovered to make it to the market. And by the time it does get to the market it will be just as expensive as oil from the Persian Gulf or from Venezuela or wherever else oil come from on that day.

It is quite clear that the GOP and the Bush administration are going to use the Democrats’ opposition to offshore drilling as a way of foisting blame for the current price (and the future price) of gas at the pump as part of their election year politicking effort. Sorry guys (and gals)…you’re as much (if not more) to blame for this than the Democrats.

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