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Tipsheet

You Can't Drill There...There's Oil There!

Below is part of a release from Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD) in response to President Bush’s announcement to lift the executive ban on offshore drilling:

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“Drilling in the OCS will do nothing to lower gas prices,
but it will mean one more handout to those who are already enjoying billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Let me remind President Bush: If the oil companies wanted more domestic drilling, they could begin today. They could begin on the 68 million acres of land that are already set aside, leased, and available for drilling. And with upcoming Democratic legislation to speed up the leasing process for 20 million more acres in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, they’ll be able to drill there, too.” ___________________________________________________________

I can think of no better example of pure partisan rhetoric. This statement does nothing more than contradict itself. On one hand you have Majority Leader Hoyer saying that offshore drilling in the OCS will do nothing to lower gas prices, but then he promotes Democrat legislation to speed up the leasing process for drilling in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. If increasing supply doesn’t matter as he implies in his comment about the OCS, then why promote legislation about drilling in Alaska? Could it be that the pressure from America to drill is forcing the Democrats to appear like they care about rising energy costs?
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Hoyer is reaffirming the Democrat talking point of being against drilling which appeases their base, but being for drilling on lands where leases already exist to assuage the anger of the average American voter. That might be a good policy if these lands where leases already exist actually contain oil and natural gas. However, we know this is not the case -- as do the Democrats who voted to recently defeat the Hoyer-Pelosi so-called “Use it or Lose it” bill.  (That’s what his 68 million acre line refers too.) Nearly 1 in 10 Democrats joined Republicans to defeat that bill because it did nothing to actually increase our energy supply.  

These are the kind of games that explain why Congress’ approval rating hovers at 9%. This statement proves that the Democrats are willing to talk the right talk but not seek out real solutions. Americans want energy; they don’t want political ploys.  

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