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So who's right on the "Gang of 10" energy proposal? From james-richardson, written early yesterday morning:

Conservatives have long had offshore drilling in their sights.  They consider it one of their many fronts in the war against liberals and their envrionmental wackos.... The reason they're pushing for offshore drilling now is because of FISA.  They know they can go around spouting complete lies on these issues and the congressional democrats will still capitulate every single time.  If the Dems gave in on F[I]SA, what else will they give in on?  Make no mistake; there will be more of these before November.

James wrote that before Obama said he was interested in the Gang of 10 approach while in Florida, the one state where the Gang's bill wouldn't give any choice about drilling. A different judgment comes from lowkell, who writes:

Would a limited compromise on offshore drilling - which won't accomplish much of anything, but is politically popular - be worth it in a tradeoff with some serious, sound policy making that really COULD make a difference?  I'd need to see the details, including stringent environmental protections in any new oil drilling areas, but overall I'm open to a "grand bargain" that would really break our oil addiction, not to mention the power of OPEC. My guess is that a lot of Americans would be as well.

lowkell is right that the devil's in the details, but there's also something very troubling about who is at the center of this effort on the Democratic side:

  • Kent Conrad
  • Mary Landrieu
  • Blanche Lincoln
  • Mark Pryor
  • Ben Nelson

Somehow, that group doesn't really inspire me as the "yeah, let's figure out a way to tax oil companies to build a better future" crowd. According to OpenSecrets, over the years, Conrad has received almost $700K from energy industry PACs; Landrieu, almost $900K; Lincoln, $558K; (Ben) Nelson, $310; Pryor, $167K. The first two are a function of geography: of course Landrieu would receive a larger share of energy PAC $$ than the others on the list. But after FISA, there's something about this that led me to think this "deal" doesn't smell right. The sometimes-squishy senator from my state had the best response yesterday, at least in the St. Pete Times article:

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., told Senate Democratic leaders that any attempt to open the west coast to drilling would be met with a fight. Nelson said he will be working to educate Obama on the repercussions of drilling 50 miles off the coast.

Originally posted to Sherman Dorn on Sat Aug 02, 2008 at 06:06 AM PDT.

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The "Gang of 10": Will/should Obama support it?

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| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Obama gaining ground, not giving an inch (0+ / 0-)

    Triangulation of an issue takes it out of McCain's arsenal.

    "The guy has no core. He likes to call his campaign the 'straight talk express.' We call it the 'forked tongue express.'" - Bob Haney (GOP)

    by DiegoUK on Sat Aug 02, 2008 at 06:08:52 AM PDT

  •  I say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah

    let congress vote on drilling and then the battles on where to drill can move to the states.

  •  No reason not to give - as long as we get! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, SDorn

    Offshore drilling has always been the Trojan Rabbit we said it was.... which is to say, even if we give oil companies the right to drill offshore, they AIN'T GONNA DO IT!

    So.... why not force the right wingers to compromise a little to get their hands on the continental shelf?

    A plan to give tax breaks to people who go solar, buy an electric car, start a community garden, etc. ad nauseum?

    Pick your proposal, really.  Find any number of green issues that the Senate minority party has been able to block for years, and... ram their empty offshore drilling idea down their throats?

    With no materials or even facilities in place to build a sufficient number of new offshore rigs... with no incentive to drill for new sources while the profit margins are sufficiently high to create record profit totals (interesting distinction which the right tries to obfuscate, by the way), there is absolutely zero chance the oil companies will be drilling out there anyway, even if we told them there WEREN'T any environmental concerns.  So why not give them their empty bill, but fill it up with delicious green goodies?

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