July 24, 2008

“OIL THIRST: Will it transform the election?” Only if oil prices stay high, which is looking iffy.

UPDATE: Obviously some people think it matters:

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other liberal leaders on Capitol Hill are gripped by cold-sweat terror. If they permit a vote on offshore drilling, they know they will lose when Blue Dogs and oil-patch Democrats defect to the GOP position of increasing domestic energy production. So the last failsafe is to shut down Congress.

Majority Leader Reid has decided that deliberation is too taxing for “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” This week he cut off serious energy amendments to his antispeculation bill. Then Senate Appropriations baron Robert Byrd abruptly canceled a bill markup planned for today where Republicans intended to press the issue. Mr. Byrd’s counterpart in the House, David Obey, is enforcing a similar lockdown. Speaker Pelosi says she won’t allow even a debate before Congress’s August recess begins in eight days.

She and Mr. Reid are cornered by substance. The upward pressure on oil prices is caused by rising world-wide consumption and limited growth in supplies. Yet at least 65% of America’s undiscovered, recoverable oil, and 40% of its natural gas, is hostage to the Congressional drilling moratorium.

Is this issue a winner for the Republicans? I don’t know, but the Democrats are sure acting like they think it is.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Truman, 1948. What more can I say? (With apologies to Jan Deutsch.)

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