Once more President Bush is ratcheting up the rhetoric and trying to place the blame on Congress for the lack of relief to current oil prices. In a statement today he called on Congress to repeal the 1981 law that bans offshore oil drilling. This coming only one day after he rescinded the executive order issued by then President George H. W. Bush which also banned offshore oil exploration after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The President claims:

“The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress”

“Bush: Congress Standing Between Americans and Offshore Oil,” CNN, July 15th 2008, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/15/bush.oil/index.html

It’s amazing — this guy is in a class all by himself when it comes to partisanship.

“The sooner Congress lifts the ban, the sooner we can get these resources from the ocean floor to the refineries, to the gas pump,” the president said. “Democratic leaders have been delaying action on offshore exploration, and now they have an opportunity to show that they finally heard the frustrations of the American people.”

“Bush: Congress Standing Between Americans and Offshore Oil,” CNN, July 15th 2008, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/15/bush.oil/index.html

It takes years to get oil “from the ocean floor to the refineries” and then “to the gas pump.” This is not something that will happen overnight. Yet in an election year with his Republican party candidate clearly having difficulties he’s trying to find any way to blame the problems Americans are facing on the Democrats in Congress. Hello, Mr. President! It’s an open market out there. Whatever oil they find (if and when they find it) will simply make it out to the open market to be bought and sold there. It will do nothing to lower the overall gas price here in the U.S. If you want to do that you should encourage conservation in the short term and develop technologies to get the U.S. off the OPEC needle in the long run. Drilling for oil will simply put more money into the pockets of the oil companies — many of whom spend nearly 0% of their earnings on research and development into alternative energy sources.

This guy and his administration is a one-trick pony when it comes to energy policy. And when he can’t get what he wants he blames the Democrats in Congress. Of course they are only too willing to oblige him with their own witty (or not-so-witty) retorts.

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