Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Barry, It's Time To Flip On Energy

Voters, who also happen to be consumers of oil, aren't buying the canard that domestic drilling is a Republican conspiracy to enrich Big Oil. Even the New York Times sees Democrats waking up to the fact that consumers understand supply and demand and want domestic drilling. Now.

Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, faces an increasing uneasiness among his colleagues, who have signaled receptiveness to allowing more drilling.

President Bush lifted 20 years worth of executive orders that ban domestic drilling, but Congressional prohibitions remain in effect; the president called on Congress to end the ban.

Ten Democrats have made statements indicating that they will support some form of domestic drilling; how long before Barry flips?

Here's how he'll do it. Today, he takes the position that:

If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks,” the Obama campaign’s spokesman, Bill Burton, said in a statement.

He'll announce that some new study (translate: an internal poll) shows that domestic drilling is "worthy of consideration," that he has "considered" it, and agrees to support the McConnell bill so long as it contains provisions for conservation and alternative energy. (It does.) Then Flipper will swim on to the next issue.

Update: Two more Democrats have embraced domestic drilling: Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-MN) and Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Given that the McConnell bill included 43 Republican co-sponsors at the outset, this legislation is quickly moving to passage.

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