We can now take offshore drilling off of the table as an issue Republicans and John McCain can use to hammer the Democrats in the general election. Any serious attempt to address our energy costs by adding offshore drilling to the mix has been sabotaged by five Republicans, including my other senator Lindsey Graham. Hope they are proud of themselves for their bipartisan compromise with the Democrats, because it came at a huge price. The base will be angry about this, and it will hurt McCain. My guess is that we will still fall in line behind McCain, because that’s the only way to stop Barack Obama.
Here’s how this happened:
And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson — alongside five Senate Democrats. This “Gang of 10” announced a “sweeping” and “bipartisan” energy plan to break Washington’s energy “stalemate.” What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.
That’s because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast — putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska’s oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.
The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies! The Sierra Club couldn’t have penned it better. And so the Republican Five has potentially given antidrilling Democrats the political cover they need to neutralize energy through November.
Heck of a job, Senators. Keep up the good work. Don’t think we will forget this after November.