House passes legislation to drill in Arctic Refuge … again

Here we go again: for the 947th time, the House has passed legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Less than six months before congressional elections, House Republicans are desperate to show they’re doing something about high gas prices. Of course, that something is largely symbolic, as the measure is likely to crash and burn in the Senate. The bill passed 225-201; 30 Republicans voted against drilling, but were balanced out by 27 Democrats who voted in favor. The drilling measure’s chief sponsor, California Republican Richard Pombo (who else?), thundered at Democrats, “You’ve got this pie-in-the-sky [idea] that we’re going to invent a 100-mile-per-gallon carburetor, and all of a sudden our problems are going to go away.” He’s right, you know. Our problems won’t go away until we drill in the refuge and gas prices drop. By a penny. In a decade.