Dems stop swimming against offshore tide

It was certainly welcome news when Democratic leaders in Congress announced they were abandoning their efforts to keep a ban in place on offshore drilling in most of this country’s coastal waters. Without Congressional action, the offshore drilling prohibition will expire on Oct. 1.

So long. We won’t miss it.

We’re well aware that opening coastal areas to drilling won’t immediately result in lower fuel prices. It will take time to obtain permits and drill. But it will result in more domestically produced energy in a few years, likely sooner than the 10 years some claimed.

Furthermore, even if it takes time to bring new oil and gas into production, that’s not a good reason to say we should never use these domestic resources. Most Americans understand this. They know all of the alternative-energy ideas aren’t going to replace fossil fuels as our major source of energy in the next decade.

Polls show Americans overwhelmingly support opening most of our coastal waters to offshore drilling. They weren’t swayed by half-hearted congressional proposals to open up small amounts of new territory to offshore drilling.

Members of Congress, including Democrats, began to get that message last summer. But it takes longer for citizen-driven messages to float up to congressional leaders. Hence, it wasn’t until this week that Democratic leaders realized they didn’t have the votes to manintain an offshore drilling ban.

We’re glad they finally agreed to let the ban sunset, even if there are attempts next year to renew the ban.


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