This is encouraging news.
The House of Representatives voted to open more of the nation’s oceans for oil and gas exploration on Thursday by a vote of 243 to 179.
The “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act,” requires the Interior Department to set a production goal of three million barrels of oil per day for its 2012-2017 leasing plan.
In order to reach that target, the legislation requires the department to hold lease sales off the coast of Southern California, in the Arctic Ocean, off Alaska’s Bristol Bay, and in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to North Carolina.
Of course, the White House says all-but promises a veto — and the Democratic Senate is unlikely to follow suit — but it’s nice to get it out there on the record. It makes for a good political talking point.
When President Obama is not taking credit for the drilling leases that the previous administration put in place, he’s telling folks struggling to make ends meet in a world of $4-and-rising price of gasoline to suck it up and get a $40,000 hybrid or an electric (coal-powered) car.
Those demonized “oil speculators” would start taking a bath — because we’d see crude prices drop below $100 in no time — if the US would announce that the world’s most vibrant, modern and flexible economy declared open season on exploiting the richest natural-resource base on the planet.
I’m still amazed that we’re the only economy in the world that refuses to help itself to the energy sitting there, untapped, right below our feet and waters. We could probably pull the whole world out of the economic doldrums if we would only do that.
Alas, we have a government that prefers to push us toward a “green” future that doesn’t yet exist, no matter the misery.