For the last couple of months, Republicans in Congress have been whining and complaining that gasoline prices in the United States would go down a whole bunch, if only the the Democrats in Congress would do only something to increase the amount of oil drilling taking place on federal lands.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but last Thursday, the Democrats in Congress did just that. They proposed a law that would increase the amount of drilling for oil taking place on federal lands.
Funny thing – almost all the Republicans voted against the bill. Why? Well, H.R.6251, called the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act, moves to increase the amount of drilling for fossil fuels on federal lands without increasing the amount of land available for oil drilling. Instead, the law would force oil drilling companies to stop slacking off and to use the federal lands they’re already leasing more efficiently.
You see, although oil companies complain that oil supply is low because there isn’t enough public land available for them to drill on, those same companies are moving as slow as slugs to actually begin drilling on the public land they’re already leasing. The huge majority of land leased for the purposes of oil exploration hasn’t actually been tapped by the oil companies yet. They’re just sitting on that land, not drilling it.
For the sake of increasing the supply of oil, as Republicans in Congress have said that they want, the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act would have banned the federal government from granting new leases to companies that have not been drilling on the leases they already have in a timely manner. It makes perfect sense. If an oil company isn’t even using the leases of public lands they already have, why should they take on yet more leases… unless what those oil companies really want to do is just squat on their leases of public lands with oil under them only in order to prevent the oil from being drilled, thus decreasing supply and artificially driving up the cost of petroleum products so that they can make a bigger profit without doing any more work.
Those right wing members of Congress who voted against the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act were doing the bidding of the big oil companies, regardless of the harm to the larger American economy. That’s really scummy. In fact, that kind of oil-slick corruption is downright crude.
Take note: They’re not all Republicans. 19 Democrats jumped the tracks to vote against this work ethic for oil companies. The members of Congress who had the gall to vote against the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act and its attempt to force oil companies to become more efficient in bringing oil out of the ground and to the gasoline pump were: