Thursday, August 07, 2008

Congressional Ban on Offshore Drilling Expires on Sep. 30th: What Will Dems Do?

Something I didn't remember was that the offshore drilling ban passed by Congress expires on Sep. 30th. This is an interesting twist to this issue. What are they going to do, a month before the election? The markets already have this one figured out. Congress is going to let it expire or pass something expanding offshore drilling.

Here's an excerpt from the Evans Novak Political Report, which is still publishing without Mr. Novak, who has a malignant brain tumor. I want to wish him all of God's grace, and my prayers for his health, as I quote his successor, Timothy P. Carney:

Republicans are winning the energy debate and will continue to highlight the issue until Democrats are forced to either renew the existing offshore ban when it expires on September 30, or allow it expire. Democrats need to hope for prices to come down and stay down until the election. Whether they have a legislative way to bring that about (such as releasing fuel from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) is unclear.

Here's my further analysis: The price of oil is coming down because of the speculators seeing the political outcome before the public does. When Bush dropped the presidential ban, the clock was set, clicking down to Sept. 30th. The Democrats may have the luxury of stifling debate on drilling, but the market doesn't.

I'll do some speculating of my own, here. Democrats will try to take credit for the recent decrease in oil prices, which probably will continue until the election. I see oil breaking 100/barrel, heading downward, before election day, if the ban expires. Oh, yeah, they'll blame "ending the ban" on Republicans, of course, to the MoveOn crowd.


Jaxon said...

I just ran across this interesting article "Drill Here, Drill Now," that delivered a number of interesting points about offshore drilling. One interesting fact is that 620,500 barrels of oil ooze organically from North America's ocean floors each year, compared to the average 6,555 barrels that oil companies have spilled annually since 1998. It's an interesting article and i suggest you read it.

Chris Leavitt said...

Thank you, Jaxon. It was a great piece, and right on the money. I second your recommendation to any other readers.