Monday, August 4, 2008

House Republicans On Floor Of Empty Chamber in Drill More Holes Push - Read the full story

Excerpts from RawStory:
While most of their colleagues in the House of Representatives had already gone home for a five-week break Monday, a group of House Republicans returned to the floor of the adjourned chamber to demand that Congress open more of the nation's coastlines to oil drilling.

Following a dramatic demonstration last Friday, in which GOP lawmakers refused to leave the House floor after a vote to adjourn for Congress's annual August recess, several conservative Republicans returned to the Capitol to continue their demonstration.

"What you are about to witness is the beginning of a sustained effort to demand that Speaker Pelosi bring this Congress back to Washington DC and give us an up-or-down vote on an energy bill that includes more access to American oil," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) during a brief press conference before the lawmakers stormed the floor.

Left out of their criticism Monday morning was another prominent politician who has the power to order Congress back to Washington: Republican President George W. Bush.

It will take more than ten years for drilling new oil wells in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and in off shore locations to drop prices by perhaps as much as a few cents per gal.

On the other hand, while Republicans pontificated in an empty House chamber to gin up an election year political diversion, Barack Obama proposed Monday that the government sell 70 million barrels of oil from its strategic petroleum stockpile. This immediate supply of crude oil into the oil markets could serve to break the back of speculative commodity traders who many believe are responsible for as much as 50% of the price increase to $4 per gallon of gasoline Americans are paying to big oil companies. (Big Oil's biggest quarter ever: $51.5B in all)

The so-called "Enron Loophole" was created and attached to U.S. Senate legislation in December 2000 by McCain's former campaign co-chair Senator Phil Gramm at the behest of Enron executives. It was this "loop hole legislation" that Enron exploited to speculatively manipulate electricity commodity trading in California energy markets in the summer of 2001, spawning artificial electricity shortages, steep climbs in electricity prices and rolling brownouts across California. It is this legislation that continues to allow unbridled and unregulated oil and gas commodity trading that has propelled gasoline price increases by as much as an additional 50 percent since mid-2007. Republicans in the Senate recently blocked legislation offered by Senate Democrats that would have closed the so-called "Enron Loophole."

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