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Democrat "Energy Policies" - I OBJECT

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

As the price of gas continues to strain all Americans, Democrats in Congress chose to go on vacation – something many Americans cannot do this year. Instead of staying in town to work out a solution, or at least debate and vote on multiple proposals, Democrats departed Washington faster then the price of gas has risen. Amazingly, while they are in the majority and setting the agenda, Democrats are obstructing any solutions on energy from consideration.

Before leaving town Democrats provided valuable insights as to why they are unwilling to act in any capacity on behalf of all Americans to address the current energy crisis. Case in point is Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

“But Pelosi, who has opposed offshore drilling throughout her two decades in Congress, insists opening new areas to drilling won't lower gas prices in the short term. She believes a vote would only help the GOP blame Democrats for high gas prices.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/1/08)

So the Speaker of the House believes that voting on any proposals to address the current energy crisis will only benefit Republicans and is therefore a nonstarter; meaning that once again, Democrats are putting politics before national interests – to say nothing of family interests. Yet, addressing the energy crisis in a comprehensive manner is desired by a majority of Americans - highlighted by the news of Pelosi’s home state of California now favoring off-shore drilling for the first time in more than three decades.

Not to be left off the Democrats’ “Leave Americans Behind” Agenda, Sen. Mary Landrieu is stuck explaining why she voted against increasing domestic oil production as a political favor to Sen. Ken Salazar. The same Senator who objected to increased oil exploration and production, even if the price of gas hit $10 a gallon. The same Senator who voted several times against Louisiana interests, but for some reason deserves special favors from Landrieu. Especially as Landrieu is making her seniority an issue in her reelection bid, but is accommodating junior members who oppose her alleged views on increasing domestic oil production.

Mary Landrieu isn’t the only politician scrambling for cover.

Last week Boulder Liberal Mark Udall pledged during a debate that he would vote against adjournment of Congress until a vote was held on energy. Well the vote came and went and Udall broke his promise, in fact he didn’t vote at all. He was at a fundraiser in Colorado and too busy to fulfill the duties of his taxpayer funded job. The adjournment motion passed by one vote and Democrats got their hard-earned vacation. But when backlash threatened to further imperil Udall’s electoral chances, his liberal leadership came to his rescue and made sure Udall got a chance to voice his “opposition” to adjournment.

But Democrats are not only obstructing solutions, they are pandering on the campaign trail. For example, the “Queen of Pandering,” Jeanne Shaheen, is now in favor of domestic drilling. In a July 31st fundraising email, Shaheen brazenly claimed:

“The fact is Jeanne Shaheen supports more domestic drilling.” (Shaheen fundraising email, 7/31/08)

Yet, only weeks before Shaheen stated the exact opposite in a press release:

"More drilling is the answer the oil companies are looking for, not the answer New Hampshire families are looking for." (Shaheen press release, 5/13/08)

Further codifying her position is a section from a Concord Monitor article on gas prices:

“Shaheen, a Democrat, opposes drilling in the Alaskan refuge and the gas tax holiday, saying that both proposals would do little and carry heavy negative consequences.” (Concord Monitor, 5/23/08)

These drilling positions are similar to those she claimed during her failed 2002 campaign. Now in a rematch with Sen. Sununu, Shaheen, shackled by her party’s utter failure to address gas prices, has changed her tune and is hoping no one notices.

The solution to our energy problem is not simply drilling for more oil. There needs to be a comprehensive proposal that explores all solutions and taps Americans’ amazing ingenuity. But Democrats oppose any attempts to debate common sense solutions. From leadership down to candidates, Democrats are doing a lot of talking, but little of anything else.

Democrats in power are doing everything in their power to thwart an open debate on solving our energy crisis, while Democrat candidates are attempting to convince voters they will have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to their liberal leadership. While all this is happening, Americans’ wallets are squeezed as prices on just about everything rise.

This Fall when you go to the polls, the choice is clear; the choice is Republican.

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