Democrats apparently want gas prices to keep rising, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have used “whatever-it-takes obstructionism” to block a vote to relax a ban on offshore oil drilling. They know they would lose, because there would be an “insurrection among those Democrats” who actually care about the pain people feel at the pump.
The claim that more offshore drilling is the answer to high gas prices is just “junk economics,” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times. Pelosi knows that, which is why she’s keeping the focus on trying to—her words—“save the planet.” Earth isn’t out of the woods by a long shot, but “Pelosi’s remark was a happy reminder that environmental policy is no longer in the hands of crazy people.”
Saving the planet—that’s “a lovely sentiment,” said Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post. But it does the planet no good to block drilling in the Gulf of Mexico—where U.S. oil rigs withstood Hurricane Katrina—and encourage it in places such as Nigeria, where “environmental neglect” and bombings of pipelines are commonplace. The U.S. has the safest and most advanced technology, so the best thing for the environment is to drill more here.
And it’s just a happy coincidence, said Matthew Miller in The Huffington Post, that drilling here is also what’s best for the oil companies that shower Republicans with campaign cash? Republicans scream about high prices, but they only vote for the same solutions “backed by the oil companies.” The reality is that high oil prices translate into record profits for Exxon and other oil giants, and that’s “good business” for Republicans.
Sure, high oil prices fueled Exxon’s record quarterly profit of $11.7 billion, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. But painfully high pump prices are “also the force driving down the demand for gasoline and aiding the development of alternative sources of energy—the only real, long-term solution to America's dependence on foreign oil."