Monday, July 14, 2008

McConnell's Energy Bill Gets Moving

The Washington Post today published an informative article addressing legislation introduced by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to allow for off-shore oil drilling:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has introduced an energy bill with 43 Republican co-sponsors that would, among other things, open up the outer continental shelf starting 50 miles from shore for oil and gas exploration. McConnell says 85 percent of the outer continental shelf is currently off limits.

Although the drilling would be in federal waters, state governments would have to give approval for exploration and production off their shores. McConnell's legislation would give states an incentive to allow drilling by giving them a 37.5 percent share of federal royalties.

Republicans have tried to link offshore drilling to the surge in gasoline prices.


"The American people are saying loud and clear -- there is no ambiguity about it -- they want us to do something about it, and they understand the laws of supply and demand," McConnell said last week. He said he was negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) in an effort to find common ground.

. . . .

Drilling proponents say that drilling today is much more sophisticated than it was in 1969. Oil companies and their supporters boast about how their platforms and pipelines withstood the hurricanes of 2005. "I think people are reassured that not a drop of oil was spilled during Katrina or Rita," McConnell said. "Those rigs in the Gulf, there was not a single incident of spillage that anyone reported."

It is encouraging to see that, while his multi-millionaire opponent wastes jet fuel flying to meaningless photo ops to pump gasoline for the common folk, Senator McConnell is actually doing something to try to reduce the price Kentuckians have to pay at the pumps.

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