The Reality Revolt
Congress: Quite a few Democrats are rebelling against their leadership and joining with Republicans to push for more domestic oil drilling.
They've gotten an earful from voters who demand real solutions.When the Energy Department on Wednesday reported an unexpected drop in gasoline inventories of more than 3.5 million barrels, the first decline in five weeks, the global price of crude oil proceeded to shoot up more than $4 a barrel, the biggest increase since July 10.
That illustrates what the issue of high gas prices is all about — not fat-cat oil execs gouging at the pump (a smear that has been repeatedly disproved), and not the purported need for uncompetitive substitutes like ethanol that cause global food prices to skyrocket, but rather the simple fact of supply and demand.
The Democratic leadership in Congress has been trying to distract from that truth and use high gas prices to please the green special interests (and, of course, cripple the Bush presidency).
But it's not "what the president would like to do" that's becoming a big problem for Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders.
It's what the American people are increasingly demanding be done. And rank-and-file Democratic senators and congressmen are beginning to feel the heat.
For the last four weeks, Abercrombie and Rep. John Peterson, a Republican from Pennsylvania, have coordinated on legislation that now has the support of about 25 other House members, many of them Democrats. It would repeal federal land leasing restrictions and get rid of the 125-mile moratorium on gas and oil production in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, as well as gut prohibitions on the development of oil shale.
Their bill will thus cleverly tempt lawmakers who usually oppose drilling, especially those in coastal states, by sending some of Uncle Sam's take from offshore production and using it for environmental efforts, plus give states some of those proceeds.
As Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, told the Houston Chronicle this week, "People's frustrations are boiling over." The Houston congressman added: "They're getting tired of the finger-pointing and saying, 'Where are the solutions?' "
With Congress' Democratic leadership politically paralyzed, the people are having to look elsewhere for energy solutions. Pelosi and Reid should take note: This bipartisan coalition is gathering steam from all those boiling-over frustrations, and they reportedly want legislative action before the August recess.