A: You be the judge.
First, the big picture: The House Dems have finally exposed the House GOP’s Big Energy Lie — the absurd notion that the House GOP (or any conservative) actually believes in an “all of the above” energy policy based on bipartisan compromise (see The Big Energy Lie).
In fact, with few exceptions, the entire House GOP voted against the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (details here and today’s Post story here) even though it contains much more drilling in it than the bipartisan Senate compromise does. Still not good enough for the House GOP.
The House GOP only believes in “Drill baby, drill” — with an emphasis on the “baby,“ which brings me to my 19-month-old daughter.
When she sees something she wants she says, “want it, want it.” If that doesn’t work, then she just repeats the name of the item over and over again. Last night, on her way up to a bath, she saw a plastic funnel. She can’t quite say “funnel,” so she just started chanting “tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel.” [Note to self: Be glad she didn't see a drill last night.]
We made the mistake of trying to get her to go upstairs without it. Needless to say, she absolutely refused, threw a little fit, and just chanted louder “tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel.” Finally, we had to give it to her. Then she calmed down. [Okay, that's probably the real difference: The House GOP doesn't calm down when you give them what they say they want.]
Last night, the House GOP didn not merely vote against the compromise bill, they actually threw a fit of their own, putting up a “motion to adjourn” — to take their ball back and go home because they didn’t get every single thing they wanted and nothing else (i.e. drilling everywhere with no support for renewables).
Like my daughter, they don’t like sharing. But then, the GOP is more than 150 years old, while my daughter is not yet two.
Lots of videos below for those who missed the floor debate:
“We stand at a crossroads and the two paths before us are crystal clear. Those of us supporting the pending legislation bring with us the new age conviction that in order for this nation to be truly secure we must bridge the gap between our addiction to oil, to a future empowered by more secure, safe and reliable sources of power – that we must shatter the shackles of the past and remove the bonds that have placed such a burden on the American people and on our security as a nation. The other path is less enlightened. It carries with it the belief that it is subservients of the policy of the past can sustain the country in the years and decades ahead. It will sacrifice America’s energy security on the alter of big oil’s profits and its profiteering. The choice is quite clear.”
“The oil and gas industry contributed $166 million to the Republicans since 1990, 75% of their political contributions. In fact, when President Bush took office, gas cost $1.47 a gallon. Today, gas costs $3.79. In fact, in 2002, the oil companies made $30 billion in profits. In 2008, it’s projected they will make an unbelievable record $160 billion of profits, every penny extracted from American consumers and American small businesses and borrowed from overseas, putting us in huge trouble. The oil companies took care of the Republican cronies and the Republicans legislated on their behalf.”
“Energy independence is not just an environmental issue or an economic issue, it’s a national security imperative. We pay exorbitant prices for oil from countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia who support and finance terrorism and terrorist attacks on America and our allies. We must stop funding both sides of the war on terror by encouraging the development of renewable energy and energy independence, this bill helps move this country in the right direction. Our nation has only 3% of the world’s oil reserves and yet, our energy future is being held up on the fantasy we can drill our way out of our energy problems.”
“Democrats stand for change. Republicans are demanding the status quo. The status quo won’t bring down the price at the pump. The status quo won’t protect taxpayer dollars from subsidizing Big Oil. And the status quo certainly won’t make American energy independent.”
“Today, I’m sure some are wondering whether we’ll throw up our hands on the work of compromise, and retreat into finger-pointing. But we can do better than that. We can pass this bill, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act–this bold step toward a comprehensive energy policy worthy of the 21st century.”
I’m proud that this Congress, for the first time, less than a year ago, increased the fuel efficiency standards for cars, something that has been kicked around, talked about for 30 years. This Congress, in its short first year, took action. And I’m proud that our Republican colleagues who claim to be for an all of the above energy policy can vote for the most comprehensive energy policy and legislation in twenty years — what we have here today.”
Rep. Van Hollen:
“For weeks our Republican colleagues have claimed they want an ‘All of the Above’ piece of legislation…it turns out they want ‘All of the Above’ with a big asterisk next to it. It turns out it’s ‘All of the Above’ except let’s not take away some of taxpayer giveaways and subsides to the big oil and gas companies and use them for renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
“This is a very simple debate. The Republicans are very upset that the Democrats are going to take the oil companies and make them pay taxes to the American people when they drill on the land owned by the American people…Democrats are saying America needs an oil change.”
Chairman George Miller:
“Americans understand the problem: Our nation is addicted to oil, we’re paying record prices to heat and cool their homes and drive their cars and trucks, and global warming is a real, serious and growing problem. Meanwhile, oil companies are making more money than ever before.”
“If we were having this debate in the 1800′s, some people would be arguing we need to keep whale oil. But we’re in transition – now is a chance for America to revolutionize the world of clean energy.”
- Gang of (now) 20 deal, Part 6: Big Oil whines it’s something for nothing
- Gang-of-10 deal, Part 4: Pick of B.O.S.S. Palin and McCain’s speech make it a must for Dems
- House Dems rolled by GOP on drilling?
- Reid floats votes on 3 drilling plans next week
- Senate Dems push bipartisan drilling bill
- Congressional Dems get smart on pushing “all of the above” energy vote
- Gang-of-10, Part 3: More good stuff, some ugly
- Gang-of-10 Part 2.5: House GOP says drill here, drill now, compromise … later
- The good, the bad and the ugly of the Gang-of-10 drilling deal, Part 2: Something for nothing?
- Since offshore oil is de minimis, why shouldn’t Obama and the Dems make a deal? Part 1