California Oil Fields

Can Nancy Pelosi's district be far behind?

I can’t help but marvel about how, once upon a time, this scene (published by Tichnor Art Company, Los Angeles) was beautiful enough to market on a postcard. I try to resist the urge to talk about politics, but I am thrilled about how the Democrats were forced to cave in and allow the 25-year offshore drilling ban to expire.

A second oil field postcard (by the Longshaw Card Company, Los Angeles), in case you thought the first one was a fluke

Unfortunately for those of us who purchase gasoline and heating oil, this does not mean that anyone’s going to be drilling for new domestic oil anytime soon. In California, you have a majority of residents in favor of offshore drilling, but the Governator and a majority of the statehouse opposing it. In Florida, much of the Gulf Coast remains off limits until 2022, thanks to a separate Federal law passed in 2006. And before the ban had even expired, Democrat Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts introduced legislation to “protect” much of the New England coast from drilling.

Don’t think that the Democrats in Congress have given up, either. Even though they had to take this one in the teeth for now, I’m sure they are hoping that the ban can be reinstated quickly under a Democrat-controlled Congress and a still-theoretical Obama administration. Nancy Pelosi has already said that she looked forward to re-addressing the issue “with new leadership in the White House.” After the elections are over, the Democrats won’t have to worry about losing office over busting the chops of the American consumer in the short term, and they’ll have at least a couple of years to figure out how to blame it on the GOP. And Pelosi? She’ll be fine; I’m pretty sure San Francisco isn’t going to vote her out in favor of a Republican.

Hell, even Barack Obama favors “limited” drilling, or at least is saying that he does, in order not to alienate the moms who have to drive to soccer practice. But don’t count on it.

Even if all of that is overcome, even if people start paying enough for gas to overcome the NIMBY syndrome, and even if the Democrats stop caving to the small but very vocal minority of environmental wackos on the Angry Left out of fear of being voted out by angry consumers, it will still be at least until 2011 before the Interior Department can ramp up and start auctioning off leases.

You people want change? You changed to a Democrat-controlled Congress two years ago. Think about that on your walk to work.

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