Yesterday CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), drilling her about her refusal to allow more domestic energy production. From the interview:
BLITZER: There are a lot of people out there, including plenty of Democrats, who say one of the most important things to do right now is to resume offshore drilling off the coast of California, Florida, elsewhere around the United States. Take a look at this poll that CNN/Opinion Research Corporation recently did.
“Do you favor offshore drilling?” Seventy-three percent said yes. “Do you oppose offshore drilling?” Only 27 percent.
You’re among the 27 percent. … Are you afraid if this comes up for a vote in the House you will lose, given the support for offshore oil drilling among these so-called blue dogs, or moderate Democrats, who will join with Republicans?
PELOSI: Afraid is not a word that is in my vocabulary.
BLITZER: Will you let it come up for a vote?
PELOSI: You know, I mean, the point is, is we are putting forth the alternatives that we need to put forth, and that is, drill, use it or lose it. …
BLITZER: So let me get — will you allow this issue, offshore oil drilling, to come up for a vote on the floor of the House?
PELOSI: We’re going to exhaust our other remedies in terms of increasing supply in America by…
BLITZER: So the answer is no?
PELOSI: I have no plans to do so.
The reason why Peolsi is deathly afraid of allowing members of her own caucus the freedom to vote on offshore drilling, is because she know the facts are not on her side. Under current law, the U.S. has about 22 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. It is estimated that the areas Pelosi wants to keep off limits from production in just the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) have another 19.1 billion barrels. The mean estimate for the areas Pelosi wants to keep off limits from production in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is 10.4 billion barrels. In other words, the U.S. could more than double our oil reserves with a stroke of a pen. Just imagine what a huge effect such a signal would have on world oil prices. But Pelosi and her liberal allies refuse to even allow a vote on the issue.
No wonder Pelosi is desperate to blame anybody but herself for high gas prices. Witness this telling exchange from the same interview:
BLITZER: Back when you wanted to be in the majority, you issued a press release on April 24, 2006. At that time, the price for a gallon was $2.91.
That was then. You’ve been in power now as the majority for more than a year and a half. The price of a gallon of gas is more than $4. In some parts of the country, including in your area, closer to $5 a gallon. And there’s no relief in sight.
What are you doing to fix this? Because a lot of people are disappointed in the record so far.
PELOSI: Well, we have passed in the House of Representatives every one of those initiatives. They’ve run into a brick wall with the Republicans in the United States Senate and with the president of the United States. But in passing our energy bill, we were able to achieve with public support and outcry…
BLITZER: So it’s all the fault of the Senate?
PELOSI: Yes, absolutely.