The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ANWR drilling. Again.

With crude prices at $75 a barrel, the Republicans have come up with an innovative solution to all our problems. Amazingly, it's the same solution they've proposed at regular intervals for the last decade-- no matter what the price of oil was.

The shortcomings of the solution haven't changed, either. The oil wouldn't start flowing for years, there's only enough there to meet America's demands for a matter of months, and oil companies have already stated that they would sell the oil abroad. Great news for big oil's bottom line, bupkus for consumers. Brilliant!

Frist has given the chairmen of the Energy and Natural Resources, Environment and Public Works, Commerce, and Finance committees until Friday to weigh in on a list of proposals developed by the Senate Republican Energy and Conservation Working Group, led by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

There was some question as to whether the deadline will be met. This week, Energy and Natural Resources has scheduled a hearing on refining issues.

Santorum, who is among the most vulnerable GOP incumbents, has continued to press Frist for floor time “ASAP,” one aide said.

His working group of 19 GOP senators put out a list of 11 possible components of energy legislation, although the proposals offer few specifics.

The package calls for expanding refinery capacity, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, adopting a series of new tax incentives, reducing the number of “boutique fuels” and raising fuel-economy standards.

Raising fuel economy standards? As hard as Detroit and the GOP has fought against that, I'd love to see the specifics. I'm guessing a voluntary 10% increase in fuel efficiency over the next decade, with certain categories of gas-guzzling vehicles exempted. But that's because I get a little cynical when I hear the names 'Frist' and 'Santorum.'