…Has turned out the lights and cameras without calling for a vote on a bipartisan energy bill presented by the Republican minority. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have adjourned Congress for a five-week vacation, but Republicans have stayed in a first-ever “phantom session” demanding a vote on the bill.
While there is also significant support in the Democratic party for a vote on the bill, the upper echelon of the Democratic Party wants oil prices to increase, in the thankfully mistaken opinion that they can then strong-arm voters into accepting increasing levels of socialism-via-greening. The wide-based support for the Republican maneuver today shows that most Americans want a comprehensive PLAN, which includes not only research into alternative energy–which has already been researched for decades without becoming feasible–but also tapping into the vast energy reserves that are already domestically available.
Of course, Speaker Pelosi needs a break to publicise her new book, which is currently number one…
…thousand, seven hundred and sixty-two at Amazon.com.
UPDATE: My e-mail to Claire McCaskill
I would like to believe that both of my Missouri Senators took part in the phantom session after Speaker Pelosi adjourned congress, aimed at voting on a bipartisan energy bill.
Given your voting record, however, may I assume that that is not the case?
UPDATE: Claire McCaskill responds
Thank you for contacting me regarding high gas prices. I understand the impact prices are having on Missourians, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
Gas prices are determined by several factors. Over the last several years, the steady rise in gas prices has been attributed to an increase in demand but a decrease in the supply. As world demand climbs, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has responded by raising production quotas slowly and reluctantly. And, most recently, speculators (those who buy and sell oil on the world market) have been buying oil at a rapid pace. All of these factors have created a volatile market that has driven oil prices to over $120 a barrel.
While there are no easy, short-term solutions that would dramatically decrease prices immediately, my colleagues and I have approved several measures that address both the supply and demand side of this problem. The Energy Independence and Security Act, which was signed into law last December, will help decrease the demand of world oil by investing in alternative fuels and making cars more fuel efficient. And, this past spring, I cosponsored a provision that would increase domestic oil supply by halting deliveries of crude oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The Department of Energy made an administrative decision to put this policy in place and stop filling the SPR just a week after this legislation passed the Senate.
What’s more, however, these recent prices are very telling that Americans can no longer rely on oil to fuel our country. Americans need alternatives to oil, and they need it as soon as possible. Congress, for example, can reinvest funds generated by repealing tax breaks from large oil companies to make alternative fuels a reality sooner. If my colleagues and I really want to solve our energy crisis, we need to focus on this and other reforms that get alternatives out to the energy market faster rather than near-sighted proposals that prolong our addiction to oil.
Along with alternative fuels, strong laws must be in place to prevent market manipulation and consumer exploitation. I have cosponsored the Petroleum Consumer Price Gouging Protection Act that would protect consumers from price gouging, and I am currently exploring measures that will reign in potential abuse by oil speculators. The federal government needs to crackdown on activity that unfairly inflates prices at the pump.
Thank you again for your correspondence, and I will be sure to keep your comments in mind when the Senate considers future energy legislation. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can address any other matter that is important to you.
Senator Claire McCaskill