Drill Baby Drill Bill Doesnt Even Let America Keep What It Drills

Bill Scher

According to the Republican-led House, American energy independence involves Americans producing energy. But not Americans keeping our own energy.

Yesterday, the House passed a bill to expand coastal drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and eastern seaboard without careful consideration of environmental and safety risks. The lead sponsor of the bill proclaimed this would “lower energy prices” and “make American [sic] less dependent on unstable foreign energy.”

We went through the ridiculous argument that expanding drilling on our coasts would lower gas prices, back in 2008. Eventually, top Republicans had to concede that since we don’t have that much oil off our shores in the first place, and any newly opened up areas wouldn’t be tapped at least a decade, that there could only be a “psychological impact” from increased drilling, but no “immediate relief.”

But even putting the price issue, folks could still argue we should tap as much of our own oil as we can, so we’re doing as much as possible to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Then how does the “Drill Baby Drill” crowd explain this? The Hill reports: “Republicans … rejected a motion requiring that oil produced on federal lands be used in the United States.”

Come again?! A bill that proclaims to “make American [sic] less dependent on unstable foreign energy” doesn’t even ensure that America keeps its own scant resources of oil?

Instead of Americans keeping their own energy, the House bill simply continues taxpayer subsidies to multinational oil companies so they can sell it wherever in the world they like and rake in obscene profits.

That doesn’t make America more energy independent.

That keeps America dependent on the status quo: a global oil “market” where multinational oil companies partner with dictators from oil states to maximize their own profits and deny the rest of us real energy choices.

And real energy choices is fundamentally what we need.

We don’t have enough oil to achieve energy independence on that alone, and even if we did, there’s that little global warming thing to consider.

If we want stable and affordable energy prices over the long-haul, as well as real energy security, we need to stop giving enormously profitable oil companies like ExxonMobil a weekly allowance, stop allowing corporations to spew carbon pollution for free, and dramatically increase our investments in generating renewable energy.

Yet House Republicans prevented a vote yesterday on ending our subsidies to Big OIl and increasing our investments in clean energy, and earlier wouldn’t even vote to accept that carbon pollution is real.

American [sic] will have to wait a little longer for real energy security.

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