CNN Omits Democrats' Efforts to Prevent Drilling Vote

     If only Congress would get its act together, all our current energy woes would be solved.


     That seemed to be CNN’s take on the energy bill in a July 25 segment. CNN correspondent Kate Bolduan reported the political differences on energy policy between Democrats and Republicans on CNN’s “American Morning.”


     “Even before the votes were counted on the latest energy proposal, the partisan standoff was clear,” Bolduan said. “[T]hat bill, a Democratic plan to release oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It failed – one more example of the deadlock over sky-high gas prices and one step closer to Congress going home for the summer without passing anything significant on energy.”


     According to the report, the primary conflict involved opening federal lands to offshore drilling.


     “The main battle comes down to whether to allow new offshore drilling,” Bolduan said. “Republicans say yes, Democratic leaders say no. The dispute has deteriorated into competing press conferences, dueling poster boards and partisan jabs.”


     But the “partisan standoff” Bolduan claimed that is holding up an energy bill would be eliminated if the Senate controlled by the Democrat majority would allow a vote on drilling – a detail lacking from Bolduan’s report.


     Senate Democrats are thwarting all measures to have an up-or-down vote on opening offshore lands to exploration and drilling. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 21 and said she wasn’t willing to compromise with Senate Republicans on drilling – even if it included federal investment into alternative energies.


     “I don’t think that you throw the Alaskan [Arctic] National Wildlife [Refuge] into oil drilling,” Boxer said. “You don’t need to do it. If you look at what’s in there, it would keep us going for six months when you can do so much more. I mean, with the acreage that is already in the oil companies’ hands. So, I think there are certain American values and you don’t throw them away for something that is so obviously necessary.”


     However, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told the Business & Media Institute on July 23 he would be willing to agree to that sort of compromise.


     “That’s the kind of things we need to be doing,” Sessions said. “I believe it indicates that there is within the Democratic conference a group of senators – I don’t even think it’s a majority though – if it is, it’s a slim majority – that just does not want to produce anymore oil and gas, which is unthinkable. This is why the price keeps going up, because our production is going down and demand is going up.”


     Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said on July 9 that Republicans are planning to freeze activity on the Senate floor until a drilling vote is held. That was confirmed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.


       “One of the things that we’re looking at here – a few of us have been meeting about ways that we might just close down the Senate floor until we get a vote on offshore exploration, as well as developing the supplies of oil and natural gas that we have, you know, around the country,” said DeMint.


     According to CNBC “Kudlow & Company” host Larry Kudlow, Democratic reluctance to vote on drilling stems from a fear of this becoming an election issue, which could hurt their chances when the November elections roll around.


     “The drilling issue in Congress is a huge election-year debate,” Kudlow wrote on National Review Online on July 23. “It could well be the Republican’s last hope for November. The Democrats don’t want to drill, even while the public does. This could be a Democratic waterloo and could actually help elect Republicans, narrowing anticipated GOP losses in the election.”