Scroll down for updates…Senate GOP holds the line on energy…
Yep: Your wallet.
Gotta get me one of those bumper stickers.
Meantime, another failure from the Nancy Pelosi and the 14 percenters:
The House of Representatives on Thursday failed to pass legislation intended to cool off gasoline prices by requiring the government to sell 70 million barrels of light sweet crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the national stockpile.
Democrats had pushed the legislation, hoping to lower surging oil prices by putting more of the reserve’s light sweet crude, sought by refiners, on the market. Sweet crude is desirable because it has less sulphur and is more easily refined into gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products.
The White House had threatened to veto the measure, arguing that Congress should work toward increasing domestic supply rather than tap into a strategic reserve.
Although the House voted 268 to 157 in favor of the legislation, the measure fell short of obtaining the two-thirds “yes” vote that is required when the chamber suspends its rules to act quickly on a bill.
Michael Franc at Heritage says public pressure is working:
For the first time in a while, House Republicans are on the offense on an issue of national importance: removing obstacles to the production of more American energy.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey abruptly shut down his committee indefinitely rather than allow Republicans to offer an amendment to open more areas to drilling for new sources of oil and natural gas. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid concur. According to the New York Times, she and Reid “appear intent on holding the line against calls to approve drilling in areas now off limits.”
Obey fears that the amendment, by drilling advocate Rep. John Peterson (R., Penn.), would win. As many as eight of the committee’s Democrats have supported similar amendments in the past, while only a couple of the committee’s Republicans (who represent well-heeled suburban districts) have stood with the environmental lobby.
Democratic defections, moreover, likely would spread beyond the Appropriations Committee. A careful analysis of previous floor votes on a wide array of energy production issues indicates that as many as 40 House Democrats would join the overwhelming majority of House Republicans in support of an agenda to increase American energy production dramatically…
…Quietly, in recent weeks House Republican leaders have adopted precisely this strategy. Rank-and-file Republicans have been filing one discharge petition per week (five thus far), demanding floor action on a far-reaching energy agenda. The agenda includes bills to construct new oil refineries; drill for oil and natural gas offshore as well as on a tiny portion of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge; repeal regulations that needlessly increase the price of gasoline; produce energy from alternative sources such as oil shale, tar sands and coal-to-liquid; and explore the next generation of oil and natural gas fields in deep-sea regions far off our coasts.
With little media coverage, and lacking the visible support of business groups, conservative organizations or talk radio, these petitions have nevertheless garnered as many as 153 signatures, with one Democrat — Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D., Hawaii) — even risking the wrath of his leadership by signing on.
An informal head count suggests there are an additional 75 to 100 House members, including those 40 Democrats, who, based on their previous support for proposals to increase American energy production, could be open to signing these petitions, thereby pushing the number of signatures over the required 218.
Should the conservative media, the conservative movement, and, yes, the president (his soapbox still carries weight) catch on to this strategy, pressure would increase on pro-energy lawmakers to sign on. Voters would learn that the Speaker’s word isn’t final. And we just might get a real debate on the merits of producing more American energy.
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