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Friday, July 25, 2008

Daily Kos: Americans Want More Drilling... Right?

Back in February, the Republicans knew they had a losing issue on their hands.

Even some Republicans admit that it may be hard to sell voters on the idea of continuing to provide tax incentives to oil companies earning record profits.

"It's not as sexy and easy a sound bite," said Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican who opposes the measure

What to do?  What to do?  After years of pushing multi-billion dollars tax breaks into the overflowing coffers of oil companies -- all in the name of encouraging exploration -- the Republicans had only managed to fatten company bottom lines while emptying American pockets.  

But wait!  They could just turn it around.  Blame Democrats for blocking the very thing the GOP had been funding year, after year, after year and pretend it never happened.  "Find more, use Less" became the new GOP talking point.  And boy, this idea's a three'fer.  You get to blame Democrats for a problem you caused, keep the tax breaks you've been feeding your oil buddies, and tear down the restrictions around the last protected places.  If that's not making barrels of light sweet Texas lemonade out of sour lemons, I don't know what it.

Best of all, the American people are behind it.  The GOP drank the shake and stuck Democrats with the tab.

Only... maybe not.  A poll conducted by the Wilderness Society delivers very different results from the Faster, Democrats! Drill! Drill! line that's being pushed on the 24 hour talking head-a-thons.

The American public is not buying the arguments of President Bush and the oil industry that new drilling will lower gas prices, a new poll finds. Despite a well-funded campaign to convince lawmakers to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and the offshore waters of the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling, and to allow new oil shale projects in the Rocky Mountain West, a majority (54%) of Americans do not see more drilling as a solution to high gas prices.

George Bush, John McCain, and the Republican Chorus think that the way to turn attention from their disastrous oil policy is repeat the same thing, only more so.  But somehow, people aren't buying.

A significant majority of Americans (63%) said that the President's proposal to open up public lands to oil and gas drilling is "more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower gas prices for American consumers." A substantial majority (66%) said that "the small percentage of public lands still protected from oil drilling should remain off limits because they are valuable natural resources that cannot be replaced."

Republicans think they have a winner here.  But then, when's the last time the Republicans were right about anything?

Oh, and someone might want to talk to George Voinovich about the "use less" part of "find more, use less" motto.

Voinovich: Let's go after every single drop of oil that's available to us.

Uh, yeah.  That seems to sum up the Republican plan for our future.  No doubt after we've burned that last drop, we will use less.

Daily Kos: Americans Want More Drilling... Right?

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