Democratic congressmen are AWOL

Tue, 08/05/2008 - 3:13pm
By: Letters to the ...

To Georgia Democratic representatives John Barrow, Sanford Bishop Jr., Hank Johnson, John Lewis, Jim Marshall and David Scott: As each of you campaign for votes during your five week “recess,” would ask you share answers to the following questions with your constituents:

• What is the estimate of job losses from the lack of an energy policy from the U.S. Congress?

• What percent of the increase in inflation constituents have suffered in the last 12 months is due to increased fuel prices – both direct (fuel for tanks), and indirect (food stuffs, services, air travel)?

• Of all of the talk of “oil company profits,” what was the real profit margin, and of that margin, what was the dollar amount that will be paid to the federal government in taxes; and what was the dollar amount devoted to exploration?

• What is the rationale for the majority party’s continued reliance on foreign oil, when we have shale, coal and an abundance of proven reserves within the U.S. boundaries?

• What was the rationale of the majority party’s decision to leave Washington without at least bringing offshore drilling to a vote on the floor of the House? Is the majority party so in lockstep with the Speaker that the use of logic for your constituents is secondary in your thought process?

• Have you researched the impact of high energy costs of small- and medium-sized businesses within your own districts? If so, what is the impact in terms of their profits and hiring abilities? If you have not conducted such research, why not?

• How many small- and medium-size businesses could fail by the end of this year if there is not some hope of relief at the pump – within your own districts? How do you justify your lack of action given what you learned from your “research”?

• Why should your constituents vote for you in November, when you have not voted for them in 2007 and 2008 to cause us to become energy independent?

• The point was made by the media on Aug. 2, 2008, that Florida may be in a recession due to lack of tourists this season. For your friends to the south in Florida, what is your best estimate of individuals from your district who were unable to travel to Florida for a vacation this year, due to high energy prices? Would appreciate you sharing your findings with Congressman Wexler.

• There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.” When will the majority party take the first step towards the U.S. becoming energy independent – including the use of ALL sources of energy?

Thank you in advance for your timely and, no doubt, insightful, responses. Will be looking forward to your straight-forward answers. You do owe answers to your constituents.

Jack C. Wheeler

Fayetteville, Ga.

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Submitted by kreedham on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 2:49pm.

The Dems aren't AWOL. Congress is on its annual summer/fall recess, one they have taken for over 100 years. What Tom Price and our own Lynn Westmoreland as well as Senator McCain have done in calling for Speaker Pelosi to call Congress back into session is political grandstanding.

First of all the problem didn't happened overnight and can't be fixed in that time either. Even if Congress approved drilling today then it doesn't appear that we will be getting at that oil anytime soon. Seems the oil companies can't get enough equipment. See below!

We've had well over 30 years to do something about the energy problem. As an unbiased magazine editor said last night on a news show, if we had followed Jimmy Carter's call to action on energy, then we wouldn't be in this mess. Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush have all failed us in that regard.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:38pm.

But it's high time we got on with addressing the problem, if we have that OIL, DRILL FOR IT...

birdman's picture
Submitted by birdman on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:37am.

Mr. Wheeler brings up some very good points, specifically how could Congress recess without addressing the Energy problem? Thanks goes out to Saxby Chambliss and Jonny Isakson for forming the Gang of 10 to keep this on the table.
However Mr. Wheeler needs ask some other questions:
1. Why, when it was obvious that energy was going up, did the Republican Congress along with a Republican President, NOT take action to open up offshore drilling?
2. Why, when airlines were going bankrupt, did the Bush administration reject a request for a 4.4 cent per gallon tax holiday as "too expensive," yet saw fit to grant a $4.5 Billion tax cut to oil companies who at the time recording record profits?
3. Why has the administration failed to address high cost of commercial use fuel, which directly addresses cost of goods?
4. Why are the Democrats who only control onl 53% of Congress being blamed for a failed energy policy when the energy policy is proposed by the President?
5. Why did Bush, personal family friends of the Saudi Royal Family, wait until 2008 to ask them to increase oil production?
6. Why did it take an Act of Congress to stop Bush from filling the Strategic Oil Reserves (and action taken by the "do nothing Dems)at a time when there was an oil shortage? Other Presidents released Oil Reserves in order to stabilize prices. Bush did the opposite. Oh to counter the expected reply, according to McCain we can have domestic oil within 1 year (RIGHT!) if we open offshore drilling, which will release us from foreign oil.
7.Congress was under Republican control from 1996 through 2006. Why did they fail to even address alternative energy, nuclear power, oil shale, etc.?
8. Why, after 10 years of a Republican Congress and 6 years of Bush with a Republican Congress, is a Democratic (bare majority) expected to "clean up the mess" within one year, all the time dealing with a hostile administration that has issued 18 of his 19 vetoes since the Democrats took control?

Bottom line is that Republicans are whining about a "do nothing" Congress when in reality they have been dealing with an incredibly hostile President. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh don't exactly give the full story either. Pelosi has publicly stated more than once that drilling will be considered along with a complete package. In the Senate they had a bill to control speculation (a fun little item that Phil Gramm brought us, google the Enron Loophole), but the Repubs would not allow it to come to a vote unless it was amended with a offshore drilling repeal. Speculation is estimated to be $25 or more per barrel the cost of oil. Immediate action that we would feel at the pump, stopped by Repubs who couldn't get their way.
Drilling is actually years out. It certainly needs to be addressed, but immediate action would be a comprehensive bill that would encourage all forms of energy (see Boone Pickens). The Repubs see drilling as some "magic bullet." Not so.
Also, the Dems wonder why the oil companies aren't drilling on the 68 million acres they already lease? I wonder too.
One last point, all our domestic oil production will be offered on the World Market. For example, ANWR was never slated for the U.S. It was slated for Japan and China. I do not want our ecologically sensitive areas drilled so the oil companies can sell $150 per barrel oil to China and India. I want guarantees that the oil will be sold here for a reasonable price to wean us off MidEast oil. Is that "too liberal?"

Submitted by lion on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:56pm.

According to a Reuters article on July 30, 2008, the United States imported 3.204 million barrels a day in petroleum products during May and exported 1.592 million barrels a day during that month. The petroleum products included gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. The exports were up 31 per cent from a year ago.

The source for this data is the U.S. Energy Department.

The oil companies claim that the exports are products which cannot be used in this country because of clean air standards. I don't know if this is true or whether the products could be refined differently to meet U.S. standards and thus increase the domestic supply.

The American public is being misled by simplistic claims about increased drilling. Drilling "here" is presented as the patriotic thing do do.

Americans are given the impression that if we increase our drilling--off-shore, ANWR, the petroleum will be used domestically to make us more "energy independent". Americans assume that if the oil is produced domestically that it will be used in the U.S.A. That is not the case. The oil companies can sell the petroleum products anywhere in the world they can get the best price. They do that now and would do it with increased drilling.

I am not an expert on any of this. If anyone can throw more light on the subject, please do so.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 5:23pm.

I do know that the Trans Alaska Pipeline Act as amended requires domestic use. This was slightly modified by Congress when, in the 90's, there was a glut of oil on the market and a very small amount was sent to Asia. That has since been reversed.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:00pm.

C'mon birdman. Let me guess, the Republican congress was also responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs and the recent earthquake in California.

1.The GOP has been pushing for offshore drilling for years now. Go ahead and check the congressional voting record. The environmentalist whack jobs, sorry...lobbyists, have pushed opposition for the same amount of time.
2. Because a $4.5 billion tax cut for those big bad oil companies gets passed down to the consumer at the pump. Economics 101
3. Free Market, supply and demand. You know, capitalism. Again Economics 101. Commercial fuel supplies, I'm guessing you mean diesel and jet fuels, are a direct result of ethanol production increases. More production of ethanol based fuels and the change from winter to summer grade automobile gases forces less production of the heavier grade fuels. Supply and demand. Let me know if you want more info on this one.
4. Because 53% is more than half. Fifth grade math. Need I say more? BTW the "failed energy policy belongs to the Dems, see respone #1.
5. because the Saudi export oil production has not increased since???
6. I feel like I would be wasting my time on one.

Better yet this is too tiring to continue. Once you remove the blinders and double hearing protection, you might get it.

“Every time you vote Democrat God kills a kitten.”

Submitted by wheeljc on Tue, 08/05/2008 - 8:30pm.

Since EXXON MOBIL is the largest US firm, this will give you an indication of recent year's profits and taxes paid. Seems that if Congress had a lick of sense, they would keep these guys going 24-7 to keep the tax revenue rolling in -- but, they would have to first have a lick of sense!!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 08/05/2008 - 8:34pm.

wheeljc's story link

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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