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Democrats pass hoax drilling bill

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 16, 2008 10:55 PM

Nancy Pelosi declared drilling a “hoax.”

Now, after getting hammered by the GOP and public opinion demanding that the Democrats in charge take steps toward energy independence, San Fran Nan and her do-nothing crew have passed a drilling bill that is, well, a hoax. The bill is HR 6899.

Text here. The roll call vote is here.

CQ reports tonight:

After months of debate about expanding offshore oil and gas drilling, the House passed legislation Tuesday that could open up large areas off U.S. coastlines to energy production.

The bill (HR 6899) passed 236-189 despite the objections of Republicans who said it would do little to boost offshore oil and gas production. President Bush threatened a veto.

A Republican attempt to stall the measure was defeated. The chamber voted 191-226 against a motion to recommit the bill to the Natural Resources Committee.

After watching Republicans gain political traction in recent weeks with calls for more offshore drilling, Democratic leaders hope the legislation will provide political cover for moderate members of their caucus who face tough re-election fights.

Democrats touted the bill as a compromise that would expand domestic production and invest in alternative energy sources. It would allow drilling beyond 100 miles off U.S. shores and give states the option of allowing production beyond 50 miles from the shores. It proposes major incentives for renewable energy, building efficiency and advanced technologies for coal-fired power plants.

The American Conservative Union called out the Dem bluff earlier today:

When we were kids, we all played a variation of the game “Let’s Pretend” in which we pretended to do something or be somebody knowing it was make-believe. The authors of this bill are playing “Let’s Pretend” with the American people, pretending they are passing a bill to increase domestic energy production when they know it will do no such thing.

By eliminating revenue sharing for the states in royalties for offshore oil and gas drilling while requiring states to approve the drilling leases, the bill’s sponsors know it is unlikely the states will bother to give their approval. Even Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has said this bill “will not see the light of day in the Senate” should it pass the House.

The bill prohibits drilling less than 50 miles offshore when the sponsors know that, to give an example, 95% of the known reserves off the coast of California are less than 50 miles out.

Once again, as in other energy legislation, the bill needlessly increases taxes that only serve to increase the cost of energy. The bill will also increase electricity bills for the average consumer by forcing utility companies to use alternative fuels regardless of the cost. This provision has already been rejected by the Senate in a previous energy bill.

The American people are demanding we change our bankrupt energy policy which has prevented the U.S. from utilizing our own resources and made us dangerously dependent on foreign oil supplies from unfriendly countries. They will not fall for a bill full of gimmicks which does not do the job.

Sham:

Democratic leaders called it a step toward energy independence, but Republicans labeled it a “sham” because most of the estimated 18 billion barrels of oil believed to lie below off-limits coastal waters are within 50 miles of land and will remain out of bounds.

The measure passed in a largely party-line vote of 236-189. It now goes to the Senate, where energy will be the topic later in the week. Thirteen Democrats bucked their leadership and voted against the measure.

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Keep putting pressure on the Senate’s sellout Gang of [Fill-in-the-blank). It’s up to 20.

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