America's self proclaimed King and Queen of Capital Hill crashed and burned yesterday when both of their bills in the House and Senate were defeated. Nancy Pelosi's ill fated scam to block domestic drilling went down in flames for two reasons, the first one was simple. Her so called "Use it or Lose it" Bill is already part of all oil leases. The second reason, her belligerent refusal to allow amendments that would lift the Congressional Ban on Domestic Drilling and make it easier for companies to drill in the United States. Her aristocratic "Let them eat cake" attitude has resulted in her own party refusing to stand beside her.
Harry Reid's attempt also went down in flames. In his case there was room for compromise and the slight chance of passage, if his true intentions had not surfaced when he refused to allow amendments. His my way or the highway attitude was doomed to failure from the beginning and he knew it. His Bill was narrowly aimed at the market and excessive speculation. The Republicans were set to pass a limited version of his Bill provided Senator Reid would address the question of Domestic Drilling, something that over 70% of the voters are demanding from Congress.
Before the Bills were voted on and as the Markets closed, the price of oil dropped to $129 and the Dow was rising. Within the first 30 minutes of the opening bell this morning the price increased to over $131 and the Dow was in a decline. The only thing that changed overnight was hearing the news that this do nothing Democrat led Congress was still a do nothing Democrat led Congress.
Remember when all the so called expert generals and retired military were on CNN and MSNBC before the military surge in Iraq, now the so called market experts are all over the networks and cable news explaining why the oil market is jumping up and down. The experts were wrong on Iraq and the new experts are wrong on oil. American consumers have it right. It doesn't take an expert to understand we are not going to break away from fossil fuel, oil in particular, anytime soon and we cannot be held hostage to high oil prices and 70% dependency on foreign oil.
Consider that everything consumers use around the world is transported or produced by using a oil based petroleum product, albeit diesel or gas for our trucks, tractors, ships and trains and jet fuel for our planes. Electric and alternative fuels are fine for cars within the next 20-30 years, but they will not work for semi tractor trailers that deliver our goods to market. Will we have electric trains, planes and ships within the next 20-30 years, it's not likely. The only thing the experts are going after is the car. Not one expert has said anything about what we are going to do about the biggest fuel guzzlers in the world, our ships, large trucks, trains and planes. The reason they don't say anything is because they know technology to replace large diesel and gas combustion engines is not being considered.
Reduction in the amount of fuel used by cars will have an impact but to believe cars are the main reason for high consumption is false. This is a mobile country because of its size. No electric engine or alternative fuel will have the power needed to replace the diesel engines we use in our large equipment whether that equipment is used for transportation or construction. The automotive industry, shipping industry and Congress understand there is no technology in the foreseeable future that will substantially reduce the amount of fuel required by these types of vehicles. That is the reason these vehicles are exempt from Congressional mandated CAFE standards.
It is time for Congress, the King and Queen of Capital Hill, and now Al Gore face the facts and become realist. We cannot break our dependence on oil and petroleum products anytime soon and we must DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. If Congress wants to look into market manipulation that's fine too. They can do both, as long as the market remains free.