“Drive less, pay more,” Michele Bachmann, a first-term Congresswoman from Minnesota, said yesterday in describing the Democratic philosophy on the energy crisis. Bachmann, who hosted a energy crisis interview last week about how the Republicans would manage the energy crisis, used the phrase repeatedly again yesterday in describing the Democrat’s unsuccessful plans to handle the issue of $4 a gallon gasoline that has affected millions of Americans from coast to coast.
Joined by GOP colleagues Congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Congressman John Peterson of Pennsylvania, Congressman John Shimkus of Illionois and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, Bachmann criticized the Democrats’ proposed energy plans.
Congressman John Shimkus began his remarks about the Democratic plans by stating that “[T]he basic thing to say about it [the Democratic energy package] is just there is not a drop of supply in any of these three pieces of legislation.” (It should be noted that the Democrats have not yet released all of their energy plans thus far.) The released Democratic energy plans, which contain bills to prevent price gauging by oil companies and to force oil companies to either use or lose their currently-held federal leases for drilling before buying more properties, were criticized in the meeting for not addressing the basic concept of supply and demand.
The bills themselves do not address the issue of the United States using more of its own domestic oil supplies to react to the current energy crisis. Many Republicans support the idea of more offshore drilling and allowing more domestic production of oil but many Democrats have spoken out against the idea reasons ranging from the environmental impact of such drilling to the timeliness of this solution. Democrats have argued that even if more drilling was allowed, the benefits would not be seen for several years.
However, with the Democratic plans being pushed forward and more such Democaratic policies, McCotter stated that we will return to the days of the 1970’s, when Jimmy Carter was in the White House and another major energy crisis was in the headlines. In such a scenerio akin to what happened in the late 70's, McCotter argued, “[W]e are going to be sitting around in a bunch of sweaters hanging out by the thermostat hoping for the best and the big government bureaucrat over your shoulder telling you why you are destroying the earth.”
Shimkus, when talking about how Republicans have continued to support adding to the limited supply of oil currently on the market summed up the situation and differences between the two parties in the energy crisis simply, by saying: “They are wrong, we are right, and the American people are with us.”
John P. Hanlon contributed to this report.