There’s one in every crowd. Or in this case, five…Republicans, that is, who are muddying the waters of the clearest issue facing the GOP this fall: energy and offshore drilling. In response to voter discontent over high gas prices and polling near 80% in favor of offshore drilling, the majority of GOP has (wisely) gone after the Dem anti-drillers in the House. Enthusiasm for the cause has given new life to conservative candidates who were losing oxygen in tight races.
Enter Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Isakson (R-GA) who, along with five Senate Democrats, have announced that their ”Gang of 10″ wants a “sweeping” and “bipartisan” energy plan to break the ”stalemate.” Sounds good, right?
Not really. The bill says new production on offshore federal lands would be left to the state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hoops and hurdles are huge. The bill prohibits drilling within 50 miles of the coast — keeping some of our most potentially productive areas closed. ANWR would still be a no-go. AND the plan contains $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and handouts for alternative fuels and renewables…to be paid for (drum roll) by raising taxes on oil companies!
Boys, we’ve been over this umpteen times: we need to open up all lands in all coastal states, keep the red tape to a minimum, drill wherever the oil is, tap ANWR, and get it straight that raising taxes on oil companies means raising the price of gas for consumers, because Big Oil will just pass the hikes down to the man at the pump.
These five Republicans need to re-think their agenda and quick, before November voters hit the ballot booths. If you wish to express your thoughts and feelings to any of the senators, here are links to their contact pages:
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
John Thune (R-S.D.)
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
Johnny Isakson (R-Ga)
Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)