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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

House of Reps started talking about DRILLING because of you!

Elections, Energy, Environment, Legislation, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, THE ECONOMY

Have you noticed that the mood of the country has changed regarding energy?

Last year, THE solution was all about growing our own energy by using ethanol. The emphasis was on reducing our carbon footprint and dependence on foreign oil, regardless of the cost.

But rising food prices and the fact that ethanol was a boondoggle (using as much energy as it supplied) caused ethanol's reign to slip from political popularity.

Then came Newt with his Drill Here.Drill Now.Pay Less. campaign. While I am surprised that he never did get those 3 million petition signers, he certainly started the conversation that we must start producing more oil domestically.

It was a conversation the President and House Republicans were willing to listen to. Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats, however, were not. In fact, she shut down the House for 5 weeks!

During that 5 weeks off, around 130 House Republicans kept the heat on the discussion in the House. See YouTube

Also during the summer, the polls started showing that 67% of Americans favored domestic drilling.

John McCain responded to that fact by embracing offshore drilling. Certainly his picking Palin indicates he is looking at domestic oil and increasing natural gas. The Republican ticket has an "All of the above" approach. (Oil, clean coal, natural gas, tidal, hydro, hydrogen, geo-thermal, nuclear, wind, solar, etc.)

Barack Obama wouldn't go that far, but did promote getting off foreign oil dependence by increasing clean coal, natural gas, and safe nuclear as additions to the usual wind, solar, etc.

But while all this new domestic energy posturing was going on, Pelosi and the House Democrats were not available until this week. On Monday:

"House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday morning that the newest Democratic energy bill will be brought to the floor under normal rules and will be subject to a vote on a Republican alternative that is likely to call for even more drilling than Democrats are prepared to swallow.

So finally, she and the House Democrats are willing to allow a vote on drilling!

"Pelosi miscalculated in her heavy-handed tactics before the recess.  She attempted to push through her own plan under suspension of the rules, a tactic she decried in 2006, which kept Republicans from offering an alternative.  When it failed, she adjourned Congress, hoping to put off the debate until after the conventions … and her book tour.

"Instead of regrouping, the Democrats found themselves routed by an angry electorate and motivated Republicans.  The House Oil Party kept the issue in the media eye, at least to an extent, but high gas prices kept it on the minds of voters while Democrats took their summer vacation.  It was as poor a political calculation seen in recent years, and the sudden shift in generic Congressional ballots and in party identification has been the result.

"Pelosi and Harry Reid may have finally figured out that they could lose this election on energy policy.  Will this be enough to stanch the bleeding? (My emphasis)

This vote would have never happened without public pressure. We tend to forget that fact. But don't jump for joy just yet.

The next hurdle will be, what kind of energy bill gets passed? Will it be a real energy bill that truly increases drilling opportunities and new energy sources? Or will it be just all show and no go? as a token attempt by Democrat Congressmen and Senators up for reelection to appear sympathetic to energy prices?

But House Republicans called the Democrats' proposals "gimmicks," and instead have insisted on a stand-alone vote on oil drilling.

"Speaker Pelosi's so-called 'energy' bill will do nothing to help our energy crisis," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican. "It will multiply red tape and make it almost impossible to lower already skyrocketing oil costs." (My emphasis)

 

Stay tuned! 


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