Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expire

Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in an months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election.
Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices spiked this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.

“If true, this capitulation by Democrats following months of Republican pressure is a big victory for Americans struggling with record gasoline prices,” said House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio.

The House Republican Study Committee is calling this a major victory.

We will see what this will do to oil prices. I do not see anything short term and only see this as a stopgap measure until other sources (i.e. algae oil) comes on line.

Still, it seems like a good thing.

When the ban officially expires there will be a dip in oil prices, slightly. Oil is being bought up again because of the mess the financial market is in; this my pump some air back into the oil bubble.

Before you pop the champagne, and I certainly feel like it, remember that our nutty environmental friends are still lurking out there. They will sue, sue, sue, for years to prevent meaningful exploration or recovery or the resources. Mark my words. Keep in mind that they recently sued over windmills!

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