The Democrats, including their November standard bearer Barack Obama, want to lower energy prices. However, they won't drill in ANWAR, they wouldn't lift the ban on offshore drilling and they wouldn't support nuclear power. As Morton Kondracke pointed out on Hugh Hewitt this afternoon, they have tried to counter the public surge of opinion in favor of offshore drilling by an appeal that the oil companies are "sitting" on 68 million acres of "idle" leases. Mind you, these are leases for which the oil companies have spent billions of dollars on federal bids and annual rentals, and which by their terms terminate if they are not developed within a specific number of years. The obvious fact is that the oil companies are actively exploring for oil on these "idle" leases, but that there is no guaranty that they will find any commercially producible reserves. (See "The 'Idle' Oil Field Fallacy"
in today's WSJ Opinion Journal online.) The Democrats, at the urging of environmentalists and NIMBYs, have created nearly insurmountable legal and permitting obstacles to the construction of new refineries, which is a major reason why none have been built in the U.S. since 1976.
And what do the Democrats prospose to solve the mess their policies have created? More than one Democratic congressperson, including Los Angeles' own gift the nation, Maxine Waters, was muttering openly this week about nationalization of the oil industry. Well, we all know how well that worked in the old Soviet bloc and in formerly Socialist Great Britain. Then there is the brilliant Democratic concept that a windfall profits tax on oil companies will result in lower oil prices, something that no one else in the world believes.
What does that leave for the energy policy in an Obama administration? Well, in "Peter Pan," when Peter wanted Wendy and her brothers to be able to fly to Neverland without any use of fossil fuels, he had Tinkerbell sprinkle fairy dust on them. Now that's the ticket! Listen, boys and girls, if you believe in fairies and Obama's energy policy, clap your hands!