Standing shoulder to shoulder – almost (Souder was absent but I am sure he was there in spirit), the Four Apopletic Republican Horsemen from Indiana demanded that a vote on opening up more land and coastal areas to drilling be taken before Congress’s August recess. Of course, those familiar with the situation have said that it will be a good ten years before the drilling produces any results.
But the four have never let reality get in the way of politicking, so no one expects them to start now. After all, it is an election year. Their posturing sounds great to the American people who have been coping with high gas prices, high food prices, and an economic downturn. However, the four deftly avoid any discussion about the far-off, in-the-future production.
Their hypocrisy is evident in their actions. While they were demanding that additional drilling be undertaken, they opposed H.R. 6251: Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act, a bill that would have prohibited the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new Federal oil and gas leases to holders of existing leases who do not diligently develop the lands subject to such existing leases or relinquish such leases. The goal of the bill was to encourage oil companies to utilize already existing lands and make better efforts to manage and produce from those lands.
What a novel idea – have the oil companies better manage their existing leased lands rather than go after prohibited lands.
Their actions are just one more example of the real prize at the end – opening up coastal waters and ANWR to drilling. The four horsemen aren’t interested in measures that would encourage the oil companies to more responsibly manage the lands they already lease. They – as well as the other big business Republican supporters want one thing and one thing only – drilling in the coastal waters and, especially, drilling in ANWR.