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.
- Why Republicans shouldn't get too excited over Obama's stumbles
- 10 things you need to know today: December 11, 2013
- The last racial taboo
- The 10 worst-reviewed movies of 2013
- 7 enduring lessons from It's a Wonderful Life
- Watch The Daily Show roll its eyes at outrage over Obama's handshake with Raul Castro
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How did Love Actually become so controversial? A theory
- How does chocolate milk stack up as a sports drink?
- Watch The Daily Show mock the NSA and the gamers they're spying on
Subscribe to the Week