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Friday, August 8, 2008

Republican Energy Fumble: Five Senate Republicans Stab The GOP In The Back With 'Gang Of 10' Dagger

I simply could not believe this when I heard about it. The energy issue was the one defining issue that the GOP had that could make national headlines and definitively underscore how inept, incompetent and out-of-touch the Dems were. So, what do Republicans Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson do with this potent ammunition? They throw it all away for nothing in a deal that will only hurt the GOP and the American consumer.

That's right. These five RINOs teamed up with five Dems in the Senate and worked out a bill that gives the Dems everything they want and simply screws the GOP and more importantly, the American people.

From Kimberly A. Strassel over at the Wall Street Journal:

This "Gang of 10" announced a "sweeping" and "bipartisan" energy plan to break Washington's energy "stalemate." What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.

That's because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast -- putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.

In other words, these five Senators agreed with the Dems that there should be no drilling in any area where oil actually exists.


The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies!

So, not only will there be no new exploration nor new domestic production, but we consumers can look forward to higher prices since the oil companies are simply going to pass those new taxes on to us consumers at the gas pump!

What were these five thinking? This has got to be the biggest bone-head play in the history of the Senatorial GOP! Not only have they agreed to screw-over the American people with higher gas prices, but they have also cut their own party off at the knees!

Read on:

And pity poor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been working overtime to stanch GOP losses this fall and head off a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate. His dogged efforts to highlight Democratic opposition to drilling has kept energy in the news and laid the groundwork for GOP candidates to use the issue to their advantage.

In the Colorado Senate race, Democrats had christened former GOP Rep. Bob Schaffer "Big Oil Bob" -- hoping to smear his oil industry career. "Big Oil Bob" has instead embraced his pro-drilling positions and is pummeling opponent Mark Udall for his antidrilling stance. In recent weeks, Mr. Schaffer has erased Mr. Udall's lead. Polls show Republican Sens. Norm Coleman (Minnesota) and John Sununu (New Hampshire) both climbing in the polls on the back of strong energy arguments. As two of the GOP's most vulnerable senators, both might well have run for cover with the Gang of 10. Instead they're fighting on the merits.

The "bipartisan" Republican senators have undercut these efforts, and boosted Ms. Landrieu. They've even put a smile on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's face. He'd been struggling to tamp down the energy debate through November, where he hopes to increase his majority and permanently shelve drilling. He's now counting on the Gang to fruitlessly continue "negotiations" straight through the Senate's short September session and solve his problem for him.

Effectively say "no" to new domestic energy production? Push gas prices higher by raising taxes in order to pay for research on technologies that don't exist on any usable scale for viability as an alternative?

These five are going to have a lot of explaining to do. And they may have to explain it to a filibuster-proof Senate that will be nothing more than an economy destroying Socialist rubber-stamp to America's next Socialist President: Barack Obama.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Republican Energy Fumble
Kimberly A. Strassel
The Wall Street Journal
August 8, 2008

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