From President George W. Bush (R-USA):
Failure to act is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to me and it's unacceptable to the American people. So today, I've issued a memorandum to lift the executive prohibition on oil exploration in the OCS. With this action, the executive branch's restrictions on this exploration have been cleared away. This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress.
From Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-06):
The Bush plan is a hoax. It will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence. It just gives millions more acres to the same companies that are sitting on nearly 68 million acres of public lands and coastal areas.
Please, if you believe Nancy Pelosi's statement, let me know. You're exactly the kind of suc--I mean, 'business partner' I'm looking for in my next venture.
As Investor Business Daily has been kind enough to point out:
Oil companies have spent billions of dollars for those leases. Drilling has increased by more than 66% since 2000. They are searching for oil even as you read this. Some parts of those 68 million acres will have oil, some won't. But at $145 a barrel, you can bet oil companies have plenty of incentive to find it.
Let's get a clue here. Oil companies are in the business of making money. This doesn't make them greedy, by the way, it just makes them like every other business in the world, including the Mom & Pop pizza stand down the street. And if they can make money drilling in those "68 million acres" they will. And they have been exploring and drilling them.
So, Pelosi's statement is dishonest. It's also stupid. Just because there may or may not be oil there is no reason not to look for oil elsewhere.
Here's more of Pelosi's statement:
If the President wants to bring down prices in the next two weeks, not the next two decades, he should free our oil by releasing a small portion of the more than 700 million barrels of oil we have put in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
I'm not altogether opposed to that as long as it's part of "comprehensive plan" (God, I hate that phrase), but to just open up our reserves without any long term plan attached to it is the height of idiocy. That may provide some small relief for a few weeks or months, but what is Pelosi's plan for next year and the year after?
I'm telling you, Republicans, become the Energy Independence Party, and you can win.
UPDATE: After President Bush rescinded the EO, oil futures dropped over $9/barrel. Someone tell Ms. Pelosi that she might want to rethink that "no immediate impact" line.