Posted: Sep 18, 2008 10:03 AM
From the Hill this morning:
Democrats Concede to GOP Demands Not to Extend Energy Bans in CR: “Two parties that started September headed for a bitter clash that could have shut down the government are now preparing for a quiet departure as each tries to shift into campaign mode. Democrats have given in to GOP demands to lift a decades-old ban on expanding offshore drilling, paving the way for must-pass legislation to keep the government running after Oct. 1. By conceding to the GOP demands over oil drilling, Democrats are seeking to blunt the campaign slogan that they are standing in the way of lower gas prices.”
Note: This is not the "sham" energy bill the House Republicans have been blasting. This is a congressional ban on offshore drilling that must be renewed every year. This year, however, they are not going to renew it. They are going to let it expire--which means it will be legal to drill offshore and explore shale in the Rocky Mountains....at least until Congress returns after November, or January.

The ban will expire while Congress is on recess, again, for the November elections. Dem leadership plans to send everyone home on September 26 for the November elections and it unclear if they will be returning for a "lame duck" session after the elections.

Of course, when they do come back they can pass a law to put prohibitions on drilling back in place, which the Democrats would probably like to do if Obama wins. Then they won't have to deal with any Bush vetoes.

On the other hand, if McCain-Palin wins, they may have to sign a more expansive energy bill than they think.