Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pelosi For Drilling -- Who can stand against it?

Nancy Pelosi has done a semi flip-flop. She is now willing to include a vote for drilling on a package that includes releasing oil for our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The purpose of the SPR is to allow us to buy the cheapest oil available in the world without putting ourselves at the mercy of supply disruptions. Having oil in reserve is like an insurance policy. Cashing an insurance policy or using up ones reserves before they are needed is the height of bad judgment.

Never-the-less, it is good news that Pelosi is ready to include drilling in a package bill. Over in the Senate, Harry Reid has indicated that he will attempt to pass a continuing resolution with a moratorium on drilling attached. He seems to think of himself as the Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry character. He wants to dare the republicans to close the government down.

Harry's problem is that republicans will be for keeping the government open with a clean CR with no other attachments. The attempt will ultimately be made to "Christmas Tree" an energy bill and attach it to the CR. This bill will might include drawing oil from the SPR, windmill subsidies, corn subsidies, wood chip subsidies, switch grass subsides, battery subsidies, clean coal subsidies, drilling in selected places and who knows what kind of mandates. Democrats will say that republicans are not willing to vote for comprehensive reform.

If 41 or more Senators will hold their ground, the final vote will be for a clean CR. The moratorium on drilling will expire on October 1 and the price of oil will fall.

Nancy and Dirty Harry are on the losing side of this issue. Will republicans stand tall? Energy prices may go down for several different reasons, including projections for more oil out of Iraq, Brazil and Iran. If the prices go down before and after the vote to drill in the USA, republican representatives will score a lot of points with the folks back home.