June 02, 2006
Just a week or so after a substantial bloc of (alleged) Republicans betrayed their constituents by voting with nearly all the Democrats in the House to keep the ban on offshore drilling (the vote was 279-141), they went into Cover-Your-Ass mode.
The AP reports that by a vote of 225-201 on May 25, the House directed "the Interior Department to open oil leases on the coastal strip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- an area of 1.5 million acres that is thought likely to hold about 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil."
Hold your applause.
Are we to believe in the week between their vote to prohibit offshore drilling and their vote authorizing ANWR drilling that members had an epiphany? That they finally realized that environmentalism is, by design, a cancer destroying our market-based economy?
The ANWR bill passed the House for two reasons. First, it was a hollow attempt by House Republicans to stem the political backlash from the offshore drilling vote. And second, the members know that the ANWR authorization bill doesn't have a popsicle's chance in Hades of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate. (Yes, I know, the Republicans are the Senate majority but the Democrats run the show there.)
I wonder how many of the 94 House Republicans who voted for the ban on offshore drilling were shameless enough a week later to vote for drilling in ANWR. I'll get back to you on that.
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