It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work doing the job George Bush failed at for eight long years.
Under the Democratic legislation, adopted by a vote of 236 to 189, oil companies would lose some tax benefits, utilities would be required to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and a ban on developing fuel from Rocky Mountain shale would be lifted.
The legislation, which faces significant hurdles to becoming law before Congress breaks at the end of the month, would allow drilling as close as 50 miles from the coastline if adjacent states agree and 100 miles out no matter a state's position. It would impose stricter oversight on the agency that handles oil leasing and royalty payments after recent disclosures of improper relationships between its employees and oil industry representatives.
"We are opening up to 400 million acres off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to drilling and expanding the availability of oil by at least 2 billion barrels," said Representative Nick J. Rahall II, the West Virginia Democrat who leads the Natural Resources Committee. "And we have done so in a balanced, reasonable and responsible manner."
It won't be easy - there will be plenty of political posturing on the part of Republicans as they angst over the missed opportunity they had to lead on this issue. They'll do everything they can to protect George Bush's conservative, "do nothing" legacy.
Meanwhile, cream rises, and it's time to put this nation back on track again. Democrats are rising to the occasion.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!