George Stephanopoulos was relentless with Nancy Pelosi on ABC News regarding the question of allowing a vote on opening up more areas for drilling. In between repeated questions of “Why won’t you allow a vote?”, she repeated the canard about oil companies sitting on all of this undeveloped land (there already is a ‘use it or lose it’ provision), said that we need ‘real solutions’ like tapping the SPR, and said that allowing drilling wouldn’t make any difference anyway and was a gimmick. (Why not then extract money from the oil companies for the right to look?) She spoke out against the threat of global warming, and just as passionately called for oil to be released from the SPR, completely undermining her position on global warming.
See the video for yourself: Stephanopoulos Grills Pelosi
My hat is off to Stephanopoulos, as he didn’t let up. He kept asking the question, and she would throw all of these reasons out, and he would come back with “Why not allow that debate to play out?” He also pointed out her hypocrisy in refusing to allow the vote.
The Washington Post went after her as well in a Friday editorial:
Instead of dealing with the issue on the merits, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a staunch opponent of offshore drilling, has simply decreed that she will not allow a drilling vote to take place on the House floor. Why not? “What the president would like to do is to have validation for his failed policy,” she said yesterday when asked that very question. “What we’re saying is, ‘Exhaust other remedies, Mr. President.’ . . . It is the economic life of America’s families, and to suggest that drilling offshore is going to make a difference to them paycheck to paycheck now is a frivolous contention. The president has even admitted that. So what we’re saying is, ‘What can we do that is constructive?’ “
If there is an explanation buried in there about why that makes offshore drilling off-limits for a vote, we missed it. Ms. Pelosi is correct that drilling is no panacea for the nation’s energy woes. The short-term effect of lifting the moratorium, if there were any, would be minimal. That doesn’t mean the country shouldn’t consider expanded drilling as one of many alternatives. There are legitimate concerns about the environmental impact of such drilling — environmental concerns that, we would note, exist in other regions whose oil Americans are perfectly happy to consume. But have technological improvements made such drilling less risky? Why not have that debate?
The money quote, and the theme that Stephanopoulos kept coming back to: “If drilling opponents really have the better of this argument, why are they so worried about letting it come to a vote?“
I will reiterate my position. I think that by the time this oil would come online – perhaps 10 years from now – the country will be in desperate need of it. We could sell the leases now and dedicate that money to moving away from oil. This addresses both the supply and demand issues. I don’t support drilling without these kinds of conditions, because we will just burn that oil up and then we will be back where we started from – or more likely worse off. If we fail to do anything, then we will continue to send more and more money out of the country to feed our dependence.
My position is explained here – The Drilling Debate: Narrowing the Chasm.