President Bush on Monday lifted an 18-year-old White House moratorium on offshore oil drilling, but a parallel ban by Congress remains in place. (Baltimore Sun)
What the commentators said
Lifting the executive order against offshore drilling won’t ease the pain from $4-a-gallon gasoline, said John Hinderaker in the blog Power Line, but it focuses attention where it belongs. “Congressional Democrats are now the only force standing between American consumers and access to vast quantities of petroleum.”
What an empty “gimmick,” said the San Francisco Chronicle in an editorial. Lifting a ban that will really stay in place is “a largely symbolic act that gives the appearance of action where none exists.” The nation would be better served if Bush would come up with a real energy policy.
Bush has surely ratcheted up the pressure on Congress to lift its ban, said The New York Times in an editorial, but lawmakers should resist. Offshore drilling won’t make us energy independent, or even “bring short-term relief from $4-a-gallon gasoline.” Besides, oil companies “already have access to substantial unexplored resources.”
Support for the drilling ban is already getting shakier in Congress, said Richard Simon and James Gerstenzang in the Los Angeles Times. And even if lawmakers keep the drilling ban in place, Bush will have a "political cudgel" to use in an election year in which record pump prices stoke voter anxiety.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
Subscribe to the Week