Since President Obama took office, there has been very little wiggle room for Members of Congress to reach a bipartisan agreement. This week the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee granted the President’s push for bipartisanship, ironically by creating a bipartisan oil spill commission that would compete with the Administration’s Obama-appointed one. The Hill reports:
Five Democrats joined all 10 Republicans on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in agreeing to create a new bipartisan panel whose members would mostly be appointed by Congress.
The proposal—offered by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)—would establish a commission of 10 whose members would be appointed equally by the two parties, with Obama naming the chairman and congressional leaders selecting the vice chairman and remaining eight members. The commission would have subpoena power, which the Obama-appointed panel does not.
Barrasso said the newly proposed commission—which he said is modeled after the 9/11 Commission—is needed to provide a “truly unbiased bipartisan review” of offshore drilling in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill. Obama’s commission “appears to me to be stacked with people philosophically opposed to offshore drilling,” Barrasso said.”
One of the more contentious selections by President Obama was Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke, who in a May 3 Huffington Post op-ed said:
As I watch coverage of the devastation, I am reminded of another energy story from last week: the approval of the Cape Wind offshore wind farm in the Nantucket Sound. What a contrast these two energy projects make: The dirty, hazardous fuel that can swamp local communities versus the clean, sustainable energy that doesn’t spill. If I were an official in a coastal state, I know which one I would choose. I would reject President Obama’s plan for more offshore oil drilling and I would invest in renewable offshore projects that wouldn’t harm my state.”
Senator Mary Landrieu (D–LA) justified her opposition to the President’s commission, saying, “I would suggest to my Democratic friends that if the shoe were on the other foot, and President Bush was the president and he had submitted a list of names like this to us and everyone was related to the defense of oil companies, we would say this is not fair. And I’m saying to my colleagues this is not fair.”
Senator Landrieu is precisely right. The President’s commission that he established May 21 would not bring about a transparent debate. In his book The Audacity of Hope, President Obama wrote, “Genuine bipartisanship assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal.”
The agreed-upon goal is to figure out the real risk associated with offshore drilling and allow the commission to make decisions based on scientific and technological facts, not pre-determined political agendas.
What I find amazing is how those from the left, looking through their ‘green coloured glasses’ associate things like this oil spill with clean energy, as mentioned here, linking this oil spill with Cape Wind. The one does not relate to the other. True, oil is imported in huge quantities, but how much oil is used to generate electrical power? Less than half of one percent of the total electrical power generated in the U.S. is generated using oil based products, so what amounts to the tiniest of fractions of oil produced locally or imported is used to generate electrical power.
For further information on Cape Wind, see this parallel post at this link.
Also relating to Wind Power, one of the strongest in favour of this is Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Take the link to this post and also to this post to see the future through his eyes, and an explanation as to just how stupid his ideas on Wind Power really are. Within those posts are further links to this Cape Wind project, nine years so far in the planning, and only recently approved. It’s an absolute shame how ideas like this gain credence just because these people say it can be done. It cannot be done, and never will be done. This is green stupidity on the most astronomical of scales.
Nicolas Loris is a Research Assistant at The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Loris studies energy, environment and regulation issues such as the economic impacts of climate change legislation, a free market approach to nuclear energy and the effects of environmental policy on energy prices and the economy.
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