Posted Wednesday, July 02, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Energy: What do the Democratic-led Congress and OPEC have in common? Both sit on vast amounts of oil, and are content to leave it in the ground and let prices soar. Fortunately, Americans are catching on.
New polls show that Americans, far from thinking that we can do nothing, want Congress to drill, and drill some more if necessary, to break the energy crisis.
A Pew Research poll out Wednesday found that 47% say exploring and drilling for more oil and building new power plants should be the top priority for U.S. energy policy, up from 35% in February. And 50% now say they favor drilling in ANWR, up from 42%. That follows a Rasmussen poll in June showing that 67% of Americans support drilling for more oil, and 64% think it will help bring down the price of energy.
President Bush understands this shift.
"We can help alleviate shortages by drilling for oil and gas in our own country, something I've been advocating ever since I've been the president," he said Wednesday. "I've been reminding our people that we can do so in environmentally friendly ways. And yet the Congress, the Democratically controlled Congress, now has refused to budge. It makes no sense."
He's dead right. In fact, Democrats in Congress for nearly two decades have rejected drilling for more oil, building more refineries or developing more nuclear power. Since 1990, there have been 46 attempts to boost America's energy supplies. Only Democratic opposition keeps us from having more.
Alaska's National Wildlife Reserve, for instance, holds 10 billion barrels of oil, enough for 1.5 million barrels of oil a day. That would be a 20% increase in current U.S. oil production. Slam dunk, right?
No. President Clinton refused to OK development of ANWR back in 1995When President Bush brought it up again in 2002, he couldn't get Democrats to support it. So no oil.
Likewise, Democrats have refused to drill for our Outer Continental Shelf oil resources, an estimated 89 billion barrels of crude. Nor do they want to disturb the 1 trillion barrels of oil locked underground in shale deposits stretching across the Rocky Mountains.
It isn't just Congress. In his bid to win the presidency, Barack Obama has flip-flopped on many things, but he stands squarely with Congress' naysaying Democrats in rejecting more drilling. Democrats have failed to live up to their promises, and now we hope the American people hold them accountable.
It was January 2007 that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her now-infamous "Energy Independence Day" pledge. In it, she vowed to "truly declare our energy independence" by July 4, 2007.
Yet here it is a year later, and, as the Business & Media Institute notes, the price of gasoline has skyrocketed 85% to $4.09 a gallon.
You start to understand that this has been the intent all along. Democrats hate the very stuff — oil — that makes our economy and way of life possible. By doing nothing, they know prices will soar.
Just like Saudi King Abdullah, OPEC's de facto leader, who this week said Americans must "adapt to" high oil prices, Democrats want you to embrace higher prices — and lower standards of living.
That's why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can call coal and oil a "sickness." He actually believes it, and thinks your suffering from higher prices is therefore noble. It purges the disease — oil.
Americans today face spiraling costs for food and gasoline thanks to the Democrats' ideological nearsightedness.
Higher energy costs are feeding into higher prices for everything, especially food. Americans have to let politicians know they can't get away with ruining our economy, and that Congress' inaction is intolerable.
If you'd like more energy to fuel our economy and lower prices, we have a suggestion: Call your congressperson and tell him or her you want more energy — or you might vote for someone else. It might be the best expenditure of energy you make this year.