When Barack Obama told a Pennsylvania audience this past weekend that "We can't drill our way out of this," he was repeating the same line that Nancy Pelosi used days earlier and that Harry Reid used on Wednesday.
The Big Three Democrats are thus all agreed that their party has given up on bringing down the cost of oil and thus the cost of gas at the pump.
Because demand for oil isn't going to drop due to growth around the globe, the only way to bring the cost of a gallon of gas at the pump down is to increase the supply of oil. The only way to increase the supply of oil for the present is to explore for more oil and then bring it to market. That means drilling.
In the U.S. that means drilling on the outer continental shelf, more than 50 miles from the nearest coastline.
John McCain favors allowing states to do just that. Obama, Pelosi and Reid oppose it. To get the exploration underway a federal ban on such off shore drilling must be lifted, but House Democrats have blocked that move, most recently this very month. They and their presidential candidate would rather see your wallet bleed and American growth deteriorate than cross their political allies and contributors in the environmental movement. House Republicans should offer a new amendment lifting the ban on outer continental shelf drilling if the price of gas hit $6.00 a gallon. Democrats would still oppose it. Follow it with an amendment at $8.00 a galklon and then $10.00. Get the point across that the Democrats just don't care how high the price goes. They do not care about the impact on the average American family.
(The environmental activists, by the way, are seeking to use the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species to further impede oil exploration even where it is legal. Their agenda is to drive the cost of oil and thus gas to the sky to force you out of your car and America out of the economic growth business.)
The DDDs have three talking points: Exploration won't bring down the cost of gas very much. There isn't that much oil to find. And oil companies aren't using their existing leases anyway.
Both arguments reveal the DDDs as either ignorant or dishonest.
First, the announcement by the U.S. of an immediate move to begin outer continental shelf drilling would send oil prices downward and probably significantly as the speculators' premium vanished quickly. No one wants to get caught holding the contract for high priced oil when new reserves are discovered. Make no mistake, the refusal of Obama et al to push for outer continental shelf exploration is costing you a great deal at the pump this very day and every day the ban remains in effect.
As for the argument that the reserves are not that great, this ignores the entire history of oil exploration, where new discoveries and new fields often bring huge new reserves into view. That's why it is called exploration. The huge reserves in the North Sea weren't discovered until the 1960s.
The worst argument put forward by the DDDs though is the one that says oil companies aren't using all of their existing leases to begin with.
First, a lease isn't an entitlement to drill. It is the first step. Every single environmental rule must be complied with after the lease is awarded, from land use permissions to permits to work near endangered species. (This is why the polar bear listing was so crucial to opponents of exploration --they got another club to beat would be producers of energy with.)
Second, the award of a lease doesn't guarantee an oil field is beneath the land leased or that the cost of extraction makes sense. Lots of leases are prospected and most are found wanting. But we know there are huge deposits of oil on the outer continental shelf. Scientists have confirmed it.
Obama and the Triple Ds are singing from the old statist hymn book, and they increase the volume every time another American looks up and uses common sense to conclude that he and they are standing by while the standard of living of most Americans slip on the altar of extreme environmentalist ideology.
We can drill our way out of this problem. The problem is the Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid won't let us.
The choice in November is clear. A vote for any Democrat from Obama on down the ticket is a vote for $10 a gallon gas. Obama and his allies don't care now and they won't care next year even if Obama wins. The change you will get if the Democrats get the presidency plus the Congress will be prices at the pump skyrocketing.