Where Were You Republicans?

As any reader of this blog will know, I am a strong supporter of opening up new areas in North America to oil drilling and freeing companies to develop western oil shale reserves.  Republicans in Congress are currently bashing Pelosi and the Democrats for not opening this development up.  Fair enough, I guess, but where were the Republican for the six years they had both the Congress and the Presidency?

As a libertarian, the situation in Congress simply sucks.  Republicans, who purport to be our allies on economic issues, do nothing of consequence with their six years running Congress.  Democrats, who purport to be our allies on civil liberties issues, immediately roll over on FISA once taking over Congress.  My general observation is that I like both parties better when they are in opposition.

  • Franklinstein

    As I understand it, the House Republicans have voted to open ANWR every year since 1995, only to have the bill die in the Senate.

  • Dan

    I believe Franklinstein is right. I'm not a Republican, but it's Dems and a few moderate Repubs in Senate (including McCain) who've prevented ANWR drilling.

  • Will

    The Republicans was able to get an ANWR drilling bill passed to only have Bill Clinton veto it.

  • WWS

    I agree that the 6 years of a Republican Congress were a travesty, modified only by the Dem-led Congress which has been so much worse. It seems that the choice is either do nothing at all and steal, or do incredibly stupid and hurtful things to the economy and steal.

    But at least this time the rep's have at least noticed that we are in a world of hurt over energy, and Jack's Magic Beans aren't going to make things better. Over on the other side, you have this statement from Harry Reid yesterday:

    "The one thing we fail to talk about is those costs that you don't see on the bottom line. That is coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick; it's global warming. It's ruining our country, it’s ruining our world. We’ve got to stop using fossil fuel.”

    You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqR0Ui0g3wI

    So, everything makes us sick and we shouldn't develop any of the resources we have. Plus, Harry Reid has been the number one hitman blocking the Yucca Mtn nuclear waste site, so he's active in killing the nuclear option as well. (if you can't put the waste anywhere, you can't build any new nukes) What does Harry think will make things better? Magic Beans? None of the so-called alternative energy sources are anywhere near being commercialy viable on a large scale, and won't be for years. Meanwhile, we have a problem - a BIG problem - today. What does he possibly think we can do? Does he even think at all?

    point is, this is not some fringe outlier - this is one of the top party leaders. As long as this is their mindset, our energy situation is hopeless and this economy is going to go down like the titanic under $10 per gallon gasoline. It doesn't have to be this way, and it is absolutely mystifying why the Democrats have decided to nail themselves to this particular cross. What's wrong with providing jobs in this country and developing this country's resources? That was certainly FDR's policy, so why not now?

    It's starting to feel like there's some IQ test one has to fail in order to be a good democrat these days.

  • http://www.tinyvital.com/blog John Moore

    I'm going to come to the defense of the mostly indefensible Republican congress here.

    The Republicans live in a world where the media is dead set against them, monolithic (except FNN) and vicious. Any "anti-environmental" action by Republicans would lead to highly misleading and damaging media campaign. I suspect a number of them made the calculation that supporting various reasonable "anti-green" proposals would be very dangerous at election time, and I think, unfortunately, that this is correct. In other words, they sensed the "will of the people" (as manipulated by the media) and acted accordingly.

    Except for a few like McCain, who just didn't get it. But I've got to vote for him anyway, or it will be vastly worse.

    Sadly, I think it takes something like the oil crisis to wake up consumers to the costs of their feel-good environmentalism.

  • Dr. T

    ... I like both parties better when they are in opposition.

    I like both parties better when they are comatose.

  • Scott Wiggins

    Dotcom bubble burst 1999
    Bush wins the Presidency
    Clinton recession kicks in
    9-11
    Anthrax attacks
    Operation Enduring Freedom
    Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Bush reelection
    War turns ugly as al Qaeda goes ballistic(really death throes)
    It was a rather dramatic six years...Not much drama left for pushing energy policy...

  • http://hertzlinger.blogspot.com Joseph Hertzlinger

    Would a media-run anti-environmental campaign succeed? The last time energy was an issue (in 1980), many Democrats voted for the pro-nuclear John Anderson.

  • Solar Lad

    Scott Wiggins:

    As a Bush supporter, who voted for him twice, I have to say that the Bush admin's energy policy STINKS.

    For instance, Bush could have endorsed a large-enough-to-be-significant alt-energy package, and gotten Congress to go along by selling it to the left as pro-environmental, and the right as promoting independence and reducing the need to intervene overseas.

    If Bush himself didn't feel that he had time to work on such a campaign, it would have been simple to bring in a heavy hitter to do the deal. There are dozens of pols on both the right and left who'd have loved to get sponsorship of such a package on their records.

  • tom

    I would like the Government to get out of the way. We don't need an energy policy per se, just need to let the OilCos do their thing. Conservationists will use every blockade they can erect to stop exploration and exploitation of natural resources.
    There could be petroleum from ANWR in less than two years if there were less legal maneuvering placed in the way. I understood ANWR had part of it reserved for oil production when it was established and this is just perverse.
    The Reps had too few to force the issue. The Dems have no plan except NIMBY and BANANA, not a 'we can' but a "we Can't".
    tom