Pelosi Gets An Oil Change – Wrong Grade Oil Used

Uber liberal Nancy Pelosi touts that America is getting an Oil “Change”, I am guessing this is all for Obama’s campaign of change, but leaves out the fact that the oil will be missing…

The House has approved a lifting of the ban on off shore drilling, provided it is 50 miles outside of the US coastline and excluding George Bank commercial fishing area. The general public will be duped by the the vote as most people do not realize that the majority of known oil is within 50 miles of the coastline. This is a political posturing for both Congressional seats as well as for Obama. I would venture to say that the latter is the more important to the liberals…

What America needs is a comprehensive plan that includes Offshore drilling in viable areas, development of coal, natural gas and nuclear technologies, future technologies of solar, wind and hydroelectric. We do not need to make oil companies pay more, they will only pass that cost onto the consumer. The only good thing in the bill is aid to the elderly to help pay heating costs with winter lingering around the corner.

WASHINGTON – The US House approved an energy bill last night that would allow offshore drilling as close as 50 miles from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but a last-minute provision added at the insistence of Massachusetts members would prohibit oil and gas drilling around Georges Bank, saving New England’s premier commercial fishing grounds from potential harm.

The legislation also promotes investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, paid for by eliminating tax exemptions for oil companies and increasing their royalty payments, and it authorizes more funding for heating assistance for low-income people.

The House voted 236 to 189 for the package.

The Democratic majority’s support for expanded ocean drilling reflects mounting political pressure from an electorate deeply concerned about the distressed economy and high gasoline prices. Democratic leaders had previously criticized Republican proposals to end a longtime ban on offshore drilling, saying new wells would take years to produce oil and gas and thus have no immediate impact on prices. But with the ban set to expire at the end of this month and the November elections approaching, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shifted her stance, proposing legislation that would allow drilling as close as 100 miles from shore, and with a state’s permission, as close as 50 miles from shore.

“My colleagues have told me to tell you that it’s time for an oil change in America, and this bill represents that,” Pelosi said in a news conference yes terday.

But House minority leader John Boehner called the bill “a hoax on the American people,” saying it “won’t do a damn thing about energy” because the vast majority of known offshore oil is within 50 miles of shore and would therefore still be off-limits and because it would not promote the development of nuclear plants or coal-to-liquids technologies.

He also complained that the Democratic plan was hurriedly assembled “in the dark of night” and made public late the night before its arrival on the floor and that the Republicans were not allowed to offer an alternative.

US Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts called the bill comprehensive and praised House leaders for recognizing the importance and the vulnerability of Georges Bank.

“When you are 100 miles off the California coast, it’s 2 miles deep. When you’re 100 miles off New England, it’s 200 feet deep, so it makes it a lot more attractive for the oil industry to go to Georges Bank,” said Markey, who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

When the speaker’s office announced the broad outlines of the legislation last week, US Representative William D. Delahunt, who represents the Cape and islands, was immediately concerned about Georges Bank and informed leadership that he could not support the bill without clear protections for the fishing grounds. He said in an interview he also raised the issue informally with his Capitol Hill housemate, California’s George Miller, a member of leadership and the former chairman of the Natural Resources committee. Delahunt credited Markey with taking the lead on the issue with House leaders.

Markey said that when he explained his concerns about Georges Bank to Pelosi, she left no question that she understood and supported special protections, but negotiations over language lasted until late Monday night. The final bill also excludes marine monuments and national marine sanctuaries from drilling.

This summer, as gas prices climbed to nearly $5 a gallon in parts of the country and constituents seethed, Republicans put Democrats on the defensive by repeatedly calling for a vote on drilling. “Drill, baby, drill” became a mantra at the recent Republican National Convention.

Yesterday’s vote confirmed that the Democratic majority could no longer muster the votes to keep the ban on offshore drilling that has been in place since 1982.

Pelosi sought to turn the tables on Republicans by offering what she described as the “all-of-the-above” approach the GOP wanted. In addition to the drilling provisions, the bill includes tax incentives for solar and wind energy, plug-in hybrid cars, and energy-efficient buildings. It also would require utilities to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 and release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down gas prices.

Whether the drilling question will be settled before the end of the year remains in question. A bipartisan group of 20 senators has been working on a separate energy plan that would give a handful of southern states the option to expand offshore drilling.

Reaching a deal on a complex issue during a contentious election season with so little time left in the session, however, may be difficult. The Bush administration yesterday threatened to veto the House legislation, the Associated Press reported.

If Congress does not act and the offshore ban expires, oil companies could technically start drilling within 3 miles of any shore, which is where state jurisdiction ends and federal waters begin.

But energy specialists said this week that Congress is sure to return to the issue next year if nothing happens this year and that oil companies are unlikely to pursue new exploration until Congress acts.

Many environmental groups sharply opposed yesterday’s legislation.

“It opens up coastal drilling, which won’t help Americans with prices at the pump, but it will threaten our coasts with oil spills,” said Anna Aurelio, director of the Washington, D.C., office of Environment America.

Massachusetts environmentalists also criticized the additional drilling provisions, but they hailed the decision to exclude Georges Bank and other sensitive areas.

“Unlike many other states in the country where the 100-mile general provision that were put in the bill might have been highly protective, in New England, Georges Bank goes out well over 100 miles,” said Peter Shelley, vice president of the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation.

“I think it’s a very solid piece of legislation,” said Delahunt. “Were there trade-offs? Of course. . . .”

Lisa Wangsness can be reached at lwangsness@globe.com.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: