A crucial energy vote took place today in the Appropriations Committee to address America's energy concerns. Rep John Peterson, (R-PA) attempted to amend a provision in the Fiscal Year 2009 Interior spending bill that has prevented American consumers from accessing America’s abundant deep-sea energy reserves for nearly 30 years.
It should be noted that the federal Minerals Management Service estimates that there are 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas locked up along our nation’s outer continental shelf. The Peterson amendment would modify sections 104 and 105 of the Interior spending bill, specifically targeting abundant energy reserves residing beyond 50 miles from shore.
But given the chance today to at least get the ball rolling on addressing our nation's energy concerns, Democrats stonewalled Peterson's amendment and it failed by a party line vote of 6-9.
Every Democrat member of the committee voted against it:
Norman Dicks (Wash.), James Moran (Va.), Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.), John Olver (Mass.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Dave Obey (Wisc. – ex officio), and Alan Mollohan (W.Va.).
There's no silver bullet to lowering the cost of gasoline and no one solution will affect change overnight. That's why it's even more important to pass and pursue methods like the ones the Democrats just voted down. It'd be one thing if the Democrats had an alternative plan of their own, but to just flat out reject a measure that could eventually help lower the cost of energy is just flat out insulting.