Congress: Lead (not likely) or get out of the way.


All the recent opinion polls say the same thing. The majority of Americans want action on high energy prices and they want action today. Right now.

Citing just one poll, the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll taken June 17 and 18, 76% of respondents favor more drilling for oil in the United States, 77 percent favor increased offshore drilling, 51 percent favor building more nuclear power plants and for the first time a majority – 53 percent – favor drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

And yet, Congress obstructs.

The arrogance of the Congressional leadership with respect to America’s energy security and the clear desires of the American people is simply breathtaking.

Those in Congress who oppose increased oil exploration justify their objections by saying that the fruits of such efforts won’t be seen for five to ten years. They ignore the fact that President Bush put forth an energy proposal that called for increased oil and gas exploration, the construction of new refineries, the construction of new nuclear power plants and $10 billion in tax incentives to promote new energy technologies in June 2001, seven years ago. The Congress thwarted that plan and they have thwarted all administration proposals put forth since.

The Republicans say we need to drill for oil. The Democrats say we need to forget about oil in favor of alternative energy sources. But they don’t say what those alternative energy sources are. That’s because the sources don’t yet exist. Your car still needs gasoline. The truck that brings food to the Brookshire’s still needs diesel. The airplane that flies you to your business meeting or brings you your overnight package still needs kerosene.

The fact is if we are to prosper, we need to do it all. We need to drill for oil. We need to develop wind and solar power. We need to find a clean way to use coal. We need to build nuclear power plants. We need more refineries. We need to find a safe way to use natural gas to power vehicles. And we need to do it all now.

Former house speaker Newt Gingrich made a very powerful point earlier this week. He said that World War II proved that we could move with amazing speed on multiple tasks. And he cited the numbers.

In the 1,347 days between Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender, we built 102 aircraft carriers, one every 13 days, 5,626 merchant ships, one every five hours and 42 minutes and 273,882 aircraft, one every seven minutes and five seconds.

As I have said before, we are the offspring of people who got things done.

So in this time when we ourselves should be getting things done, what’s happening?

Well, here’s one example. British Petroleum (BP) obtained all necessary permits from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to expand an existing refinery in Whiting, Indiana. The expansion would allow the production of an additional 620 million gallons of gasoline each year. It will create 2,000 construction jobs and 80 additional permanent jobs.

You can bet that getting the permits from the state was no picnic. But with BP having complied with the law and standing ready to go to work, an environmental group called the National Resources Defense Council swooped in and filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the project. Check back with me in five years and we’ll see if the project is even started.

Folks, we can no longer afford this. At the time of the Arab Oil Embargo we imported approximately 25 percent of the oil that we needed to fuel our economy. Today, that number is over 70 percent.

If Congress had acted on President Bush’s proposals in 2001, we would have accomplished much of the plan by now, we would have created thousands of American jobs, we’d be pumping millions of barrels of oil, we’d be producing millions of watts of environmentally clean electricity and we would be dramatically less dependent on the thugs in the Middle East.

And gas wouldn’t be $4.00 plus a gallon.

When the Democrats took over the Congress in 2007, oil was $50 a barrel and corn was $2 a bushel. Today, oil is over $130 a barrel and corn is $6.50 a bushel. What is the Democrat plan to deal with these unacceptable facts?

As we proved in World War II, we can get things done. The time has again come for us to do so. And step number one in our new plan of action is to demand that Congress get out of the way.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. David Davault says:

    Paul, if this kind of speech were coming from ANY presidential candidate, I’d vote for that person! Why can’t our politicians see what’s going on as clearly as you have articulated???

    We CAN straighten out this so-called energy crisis, and we can do it in a timely, effective, and responsible manner. We are, indeed, more than capable as a nation.

    There’s one thing I may differ with you about. I’m not sure the first step should be for Congress to get out of the way, but rather that we the people demand that our elected representatives do what WE are asking them to do, rather than cowtow to the special interest groups and lobbyists. I think the first step in an effective plan of action would be to eliminate all the noise and enticements coming from these areas so that Congress can even hear the voice of the people they pretend to serve.

  2. tim says:

    I agree 100%. I have said all along that we should fire most if not all of our conressman (congresswoman) and senators. We need to move forward not just stand in place as we have for over 15 years. If we have learned anything from our parents (I am a baby boomer) it was to try soemthing not just stand there and hope that it will fix itself. My father a “Liberal Democrate” told me when I was a teenager, the goverment will be a bunch of money takers and not workers so if you want something do it yourself and fire them all>

  3. Sharon Staehs says:

    I call Nancy Pelosi’s office daily now. I ask her if she is proud to be leader of a congress that has the lowest approval rate in the history of this country, I ask her if she even cares that her grandchildren will not grow up in the same great America that she was priveledged to. I ask her if she is proud to be leader of the congress that has perpetuated such sharply rising gas and food prices that if allowed to continue will bring this country to its knees. I ask her if she is proud to be the leader of a congress that has done absolutly nothing notable since she took charge. I’d like to know where she learned her leadership skills as I’m not seeing much leadership I see mostly alot of people doing nothing but standing in the way of what the people of this country want. I tell her I will never give her the respect of calling her Madam Speaker because she does not speak for me or anyone I know for that matter, I tell her she is not smarter than me or any one I know. I ask her if her ideas are so great why won’t she put them to an up or down vote on the floor of the House. I want to know how much longer she will thwart the will of the people and continue to obstruct any responsible energy legislation. Of coarse she gives me no answers to these questions because as I said she does’nt speak for me or to me, she only speaks to and for the far left wing of her own party and thier anti American agenda, I figure thats where her money comes from so I know she can’t/won’t hear me. I hope the people see and hear her for what she is and show her the same lesson they showed Tom Daschel.

  4. Joel griffin says:

    Part of the problem is that there seems to be a line drawn in the sand that separates the right and left. so anything that is favorable is of the Republicans and anything that is not favorable belongs to the Democrats. And then it’s reversed.
    The Republicans held the House, Senate and White house for 6 years. Yet the Democrats are responsible for everything that has happened the last 40 years.
    It’s my opinion that neither has done a whole lot.
    Obviously there were some republicans that did not favor the drilling or something could have been done.
    Overlooked in this debate is that the oil companies have had access to millions of acres of Federal land to drill. They have not done so in five years. I also don’t hear any clamor from the oil companies to open up the off shore drilling.
    The issue seems to me is that it is another talking point. Gas prices will not go down in the forseeable future. If we drilled all the reserves in the U.S. it would amount to less than 3 per cent of the world’s reserves. We use 25% of the world’s oil production.
    I say yes let’s drill but not believe gas prices will go down. But as a stop gap measure until we develop alternative sources of energy: natural gas,wind, and solar.
    But alas this probably won’t happen because there has to be a right and left solution to fight about. Not an American solution.
    Rush,Sean Glenn would have nothing to spew venom over all day long if we came up with American solutions. and your radio station wouldn’t get to perpetuate that venom spewing.

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