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Thursday, November 10, 2005

House Republicans Cave In

All right, now I'm hoppin' mad! When will Republicans learn to act like they won the elections? Maybe when those of us who voted for them hold them accountable.

Once again, House Republicans have shown that they lack the courage to act like the majority party by caving in to environmentalist groups by removing from the currently debated budget bill language that would open ANWR to oil drilling, and language that would allow states to authorize oil and gas drilling off both coasts.

It just makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever to complain about high energy prices in one breath, then to say in the next breath, "No drilling in ANWR; no drilling off the coasts; no building new refineries." I'm not an economist, but I understand basic supply and demand. Demand is not going to change all that much. I hear all about conservation, and that's fine. I have nothing against conservation; we should conserve where we can. However, let's be honest about it. Conservation is only going to have so much effect. The fact of the matter is we still have to drive from point A to point B; and we still have to heat our homes, our factories and our offices. So the demand is going to remain.

That leaves us with supply. When we increase the supply, the price will go down. It's pretty simple, really. We can't continue to say "No" to every attempt at progress; we can't continue to sit on our hands and let others continue to say "No" to every attempt at progress, and then continue to complain about energy prices.

If you are concerned about what effect drilling in ANWR might have on wildlife, then consider the following facts from anwr.org :

*ANWR is an area of 19 million acres.

*Of that 19 million acres, only The Coastal Plain area, which is 1.5 million acres in size, would even be considered for exploration, while 17.5 million acres (92% of ANWR) will remain "permanently closed to any kind of development."

*Of the 1.5 million acres designated for evaluation, less than 2000 acres would actually be developed. That's less than one half of one percent of ANWR that would be affected by production activity.

*Prudhoe Bay, North America's largest oil field, is less than 100 miles west of ANWR. In over 40 years of production in this area, "the Central Arctic Caribou Herd (CACH) which migrates through Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3000 animals to its current level of 32,000 animals. The arctic oil fields have very healthy brown bear, fox and bird populations equal to their surrounding areas."

In short, the area that would be affected is very small, and even in that area, wildlife will still thrive.

The Senate has already included ANWR drilling in its budget bill, and according to an Associated Press report, "leaders will push hard for any final House-Senate budget bill to include it."

If you're sick of paying the high gasoline prices, if you're sick of hearing about how your heating bills are going to soar this winter, start calling you senators and representatives and tell them to include ANWR and coastal drilling provisions in the budget bill. Tell them to stand up for once to environmentalists and liberal politicians who are in the environmentalists' pockets.

Update: Here are the names of the "moderate" Republicans who signed a letter to House Republican Leadership on Tuesday expressing "strong opposition" to the provision in the budget bill allowing for drilling in ANWR.

Charles Bass - NH, Nancy Johnson - CT, Frank A LoBiondo - NJ,
Rodney Freylinghuysen - NJ, Sue Kelly - NY, Jim Saxton - NJ,
Wayne Gilchrest - MD, Jim Gerlach - PA, Vernon Ehlers - MI,
Jim Leach - IA, David Reichert - WA, Mark Kirk - IL,
Mike Ferguson - NJ, Rob Simmons - CT, Christopher Shays - CT,
Sherwood Boehlert - NY, Jeb Bradley - NH, Mike Castle - DE,
James Sensenbrenner - WI, Jim Walsh - NY, Timothy Johnson - IL,
Michael Fitzpatrick - PA, Jim Ramstad - MN, Bob Inglis - SC,
Mark Kennedy - MN

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