Nancy Pelosi was on ABC’s This Week and she blasted the Republican offshore drilling plan as decoy. Pelosi was asked why she won’t allow a straight up or down vote on offshore drilling. She said that Republicans are misleading the American people.
“What we have now is a failed energy policy by Bush/Cheney two oil men in the White House. Four dollar a gallon gasoline at the pump and what they are saying is lets have more of the same. Let’s have more of big oil making record profits, historic profits, you see the quarterly reports that just came out. Who want to be subsidized, they don’t really want to compete and let them use those subsidies to drill oil in protected areas. Instead we are saying free the oil, use it don’t lose it. There’s 68 million acres in the lower 48 and 10 or 20 million acres in Alaska where they are permitted, where they could drill anytime. This is a diversionary tactic from a failed energy policy,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi called offshore drilling a decoy, “The misrepresentation is being made that this is going to reduce the price at the pump. This is a decoy, not an energy solution. Host George Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi why she won’t allow a debate and a vote on drilling, “We have debates everyday on the subject. What you saw in the Congress this week was the war dance of the hand maidens of the oil industry on the Republican side.”
Pelosi accused the GOP of using a tactic to undermine a comprehensive energy bill. Pelsoi said that she is blocking a vote on drilling because President Bush won’t allow oil to be released from the Strategic Reserve, and he is opposed to ending oil speculation, or allowing people with leases to drill to use them. She said that if the government subsidizes drilling, there is no incentive for the private sector to develop alternative energy.
If you read between the lines, what Pelosi is saying is that she is not going to allow a vote on offshore drilling unless she gets some of the proposals that she wants as part of a comprehensive energy bill. She is correct in saying that the offshore drilling issue is a decoy, and that the oil companies don’t want competition.
However, there is huge degree of election year politics involved in this issue too. In my opinion, the real reason that Pelosi won’t allow a vote on offshore drilling is that she doesn’t want to hand John McCain anything to campaign on this fall.
You can watch the entire Pelosi interview here.