Friday, September 12, 2008

Dems Cave on Drilling But Exempt Florida

So, once again we see the national Democratic Party "reluctantly" caving in to terrible ideas from White House and congressional Republicans, purely out of fear that "the political climate rendered it impossible to try to retain the [near-shore oil] drilling ban this year." By "political climate," they mean you, dear Americans, who insist "something" must be done about gas prices even if that 'something' is very stupid.

The one saving grace is that House majority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who announced the change in Democratic party position even though she is a long-time vigorous opponent of expanding offshore drilling, apparently intends to see that the Florida panhandle remains protected:
The emerging deal on a compromise energy bill would forbid drilling within at least 125 miles of the Gulf coast of Florida.

It also would preserve the ban on drilling on the east side of what is called the ``military mission line,’’ which runs south from Pensacola. That line marks an area where aircraft training takes place and drilling is discouraged.

The military mission line pushes back drilling as much as 230 miles from much of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The net result is a big no-drill-zone extending at least 125 miles from the Florida Panhandle and is much broader elsewhere.
That would be good news for the people and businesses of the Florida Panhandle, but bad news for panhandle congressman Jeff Miller (R-Chumukla), who has been doing everything he can to put oil rigs just off Pensacola Beach. Still, one can't get one's hopes up too much.

Having betrayed the nation and its own party principles by repeatedly enabling Gorge's Bush's efforts to fund the Iraq War of Choice, endorsing torture, and eroding our Constitutional freedoms, it's hard to trust Democrats -- especially when they know expanded drilling won't do a thing for gas prices at the pump.

We'll be pleased to see Pensacola Beach exempted from drilling if the Pelosi compromise comes to pass. But it is transparent that the congressional Democratic leadership changed positions not out of a principled conviction that they weren't right in the first place to oppose off-shore drilling, but out of abject political fear that you, the voters, aren't smart enough to realize it.

With an opposition party like this, to whom principles are only a sometime thing, how long can the Democratic Party be trusted to continue protecting even Pensacola Beach?

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