Here is some good news from the White House as reported by Bloomberg.com:
President George W. Bush said today he’s lifting a presidential ban on drilling for oil and natural gas on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, setting up a showdown with Congress over a separate ban it put in place in the 1980s.
“Today I’ve taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration of the OCS,” Bush said in a statement at the White House. “This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action by the U.S. Congress.”
Of course, for every action is an equal and opposite political reaction. In this case, Democrat leaders peeing in the good-news punch the President is serving:
Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress rejected the president’s call, saying the move to end the moratorium would have no effect on prices and better options are available.
“If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks. But most experts, even within the Bush administration, concede it would do neither,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement today.
Lifting of the executive ban on offshore drilling won’t have any short-term effect on gas prices as long as liberals continue to stand between America and America’s oil. And as far as thinking long-term is concerned, eventually the sun will burn out, too, but we shouldn’t let that paralyze us from making plans for the future.
I can tell you what would have an effect on oil prices: a two-pronged approach that targets both supply and demand. We need to increase supply by drilling for all the oil and natural gas we can find in the U.S. Every state or federal official who resists drilling for America’s oil is telling you, the American public, that high prices due to politically reduced supply is a good thing. We also need to decrease demand by inventing the technology to free us from the use of oil for fuel. An organized effort on the scale of the Manhattan Project or Apollo Program is what I’d like to see. Every state or federal official who resists promoting technology is telling you, the American public, that high prices due to increased demand is a good thing.
I find it interesting, the awkward position liberal Democrats have placed themselves in today. As the U.S. continues to suffer from the effects of high oil and gas prices, they stand to benefit politically this November. But if they work to help America by reducing the high price of oil and gas by freeing supply and innovating to decrease demand, the praise will go to the sitting President–a Republican. In effect, as America suffers, Democrats benefit. It’s no wonder that they are unwilling to drill for oil anywhere. They know that doing so would improve America’s economic situation, and that would not currently be a benefit to their party.
Rather than pulling together to help America, liberals are more anxious to benefit politically from our pain. So why should we elect people who are more interested in furthering their own political careers than in meeting America’s needs?
UPDATE (7/16/2008 7:53:28 PM): Oil prices have fallen for two days after President Bush’s announcement that he was lifting the executive order banning drilling on the U.S. continental shelf, but all of the articles I have read, like this one in The New York Times, have identified other reasons for the drop.
Concerns about a slowing economy and rising inflation pushed oil prices down sharply for a second day on Wednesday, an unusual dip in the oil price rally that began more than six years ago.
The two-day decline totaled more than $10.50 a barrel, but analysts cautioned that it was still unclear how far prices would fall and that the respite may be temporary.
There have been concerns for a while now, so why the drop yesterday and today? The only specific thing I could point to is President Bush’s executive order. But once the investors realize that the liberals in Congress and the leaders in the states will continue their own drilling ban, the futures price of oil will head back up. Once they realize that the U.S. won’t drill to increase supply, then you will see oil prices head back up, regardless of the state of the U.S. economy and inflation.