House Democrats are planning to co-opt the idea of an “all of the above” energy policy that the Republican congressional leadership has been pushing, offering them a bill that includes an expansion of offshore drilling, coupled with a renewable electricity mandate, energy-efficiency standards for buildings, and provisions to raise taxes on the oil industry. This is essentially the Democrats attempting to call Republicans’ bluff on energy policy by getting them to vote against a bill that lumps drilling in with the energy measures they want.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are continuing a scaled-back version of their protest over not getting a vote on their drilling bill, with Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan leading the effort back in Washington this week. Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and other Republican leaders brought the message here to St. Paul this week, where they held a press conference yesterday to continue their drilling push.
Most of the press conference was a long list of Republican House members repeating the same talking points they’ve offered all summer — drilling would provide immediate relief, Nancy Pelosi is being unfair to the GOP minority, the public thinks the Democrats are wrong, etc. I asked Boehner afterward whether his caucus would be willing to vote in favor of an energy bill from Democrats that includes more drilling. He pretty much indicated that his party won’t back a bill from Democratic leadership even if it includes the drilling they’ve been calling for.
“We are demanding a vote on our bill to do ‘all of the above,'” said Boehner. “… I’m going to vote for a bill that does ‘all of the above.’ That does in fact enhance more renewables, has conservation, opens up ANWR, and allows for more American-made oil and gas. And from what I’ve heard, it doesn’t sound like that’s the kind of bill she’s going to put on the floor.”
In other words, no ANWR, no-go for Republican leadership. Here’s the video:
Here is Rep. Price:
And here is Rep. Bachmann: