In part 1 we saw that lifting the moratorium on coastal drilling can’t possibly reduce gasoline prices. After all, two years ago, we opened most of the Gulf of Mexico — with its estimated 41 billion barrels of oil — and oil prices then doubled. The remaining prohibited coastal areas have only 18 billion barrels, of which 10 billion is off of California and likely to be blocked by the state. Another four of the 18 billion is in the Eastern Gulf off of Florida, which most Republican bills do not fully open for drilling since that would piss of Sen. Martinez.

Tom Cole, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, sent out an email (reprinted below) titled “Democrats Want You To Pay High Gas Prices.” The email quotes a conservative publication claiming, “Given that lower gasoline prices would defeat the purpose of their entire environmental program, Democrats are in a very awkward position on the energy issue.”

That is among the most laughable things I’ve read. It is conservatives who want high gas prices because energy companies are among their biggest donors, and high prices mean bigger profits. That’s why Republicans have consistently opposed serious efforts on energy efficiency, fuel economy standards, conservation, and alternative for over a quarter of a century. That’s why former maverick and now card-carrying hard-core conservative John McCain flip-flopped on this position.

Deep Throat said, “Follow the money.” Duh!

Progressives have been working for decades not merely to lower oil prices by reducing dependence on oil but also to lower consumers’ oil bills — which is far more important.

Progressives have been working for decades to lower fuel bills by promoting fuel economy standards and much cheaper alternative fuels, especially electricity. But conservatives have blocked all serious efforts and pursued strategies that have no possibility of working, as we’ve seen.

Now I am not one to consider Republicans stupid. They certainly know that we have dramatically expanded drilling in the past several years, and oil prices have soared through the roof. They simply understand that, as with the “Death Tax” — they can win on the politics (or at least not lose on the politics) by staying on message, and reap the financial rewards from the fat cats at the big energy companies.

Anyway, here is the letter from the RNCC:

I’m emailing you from my office in Washington because I am outraged. And I know when you read this email, you will be outraged, too.

Barack Obama says he is “fine with the high price of gas.”

(Uhh, no. Try googling that, and you will not find any sources for it other than a few conservatives.)

Nancy Pelosi is going on a vacation instead of holding a vote to give Americans relief at the gas pumps.

Why?

This article pretty much says it all:

“Given that lower gasoline prices would defeat the purpose of their entire environmental program, Democrats are in a very awkward position on the energy issue. They know it, too. They are caught between their environmentalist allies, well-funded groups with a very loud voice in Washington, and their constituents, working people with almost no voice in Washington.” (David Freddoso, National Review, 7/18/08)

That’s right. Democrats are fulfilling a radical agenda at the expense of hard-working Americans like you.

It’s time to send Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their liberal friends a clear message — America wants relief from the high cost of fuel!

You can send this message now by clicking here to make a donation of $37.00. That is a dollar for every day Nancy Pelosi will be on vacation without calling for a vote to give America relief.

To make your donation now, please visit …

Your donation will be used to elect Republicans this November who will represent your interests, not the agenda’s of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the liberal special interests.

With only eight days left until Nancy Pelosi takes her vacation, please make your donation of at least $37.00 before she leaves Washington, D.C. on August 2nd.

Your donation, combined with the over 91,000 Americans who have signed our gas relief petition, will show the Democrats we need, and deserve, relief from the high cost of fuel.

To make your donation now, visit: www.nrcc.org/NoVacationWithoutVote

Thank you and let’s keep the pressure on until Nancy Pelosi acts!

Sincerely,

Tom Cole, M.C.
Chairman

I would have filed this under humor were it not such a sad commentary on the state of U.S. politics and energy policy.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.