Finally surrendering to both political reality and common sense, congressional democrats stated today that they would NOT seek to reauthorize the congressional ban on offshore drilling that has prevented American oil companies from drilling off the coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico for over a decade.
Republicans have pressured democrats since July to lift the ban. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have both refused and resorted to dirty political tactics, like turning off the cameras, lights, and microphones during an active debate on energy, to keep the issue off the floor of their respective chambers. But something happened on the way to politics as usual: the mere threat of drilling dropped the price of gasoline over 50 cents since mid-July AND the American people started holding the democrats feet to the flame to do something.
Sensing that a re-authorization of the ban would kill vulnerable democrats in November and ceding the fact that President Bush has declared that he would veto any attempt to do it, Pelosi said today in a press conference that they will be passing the issue to the next president, whoever that may be.
Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here. If B. Hussein Obama wins the presidency, the bill likely to be on his desk first would be a re-authorization of the ban. So, in the coming months, as you see oil prices take a skydive and gasoline start to become affordable again, remember that it can all be taken away by the swipe of the pen by President Barack Obama next January.
CLARKE REPORT PREDICTION: Tim Holden will be quoted tomorrow as saying that he was for drilling all along. Blue Dog Conservatism!