Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DNC Could Be Mark Udall's Stage to Show He's Serious about Drilling for Energy

Regarding Mark Udall's apparent U-turn on energy policy, the Wall Street Journal has been on the case. Last week, Kimberly Strassel pointed out that Udall's newfound support of the so-called "Gang of 10" energy proposal shows Udall still isn't serious about real solutions:
Any guesses as to Mr. Udall's other action this week? That's right. He embraced the Gang of 10's "compromise." It wasn't a huge sacrifice, since the proposal mostly limits drilling to a few coastal states, while spending $84 billion in subsidies primarily for the sort of "green" energy Mr. Udall favors. Meantime, he's betting the "bipartisan" nature of that bill will provide him political protection against Mr. Schaffer's attacks, while heading off more aggressive GOP drilling proposals in Congress this September. [emphasis added]
Today the Journal's editors speculate on the possibility of bold action at the Democratic National Convention to dig the party out of its hole:
For example, the platform draft now says that "We know we can't drill our way to energy independence." Then there's the bit about ending "the tyranny of oil," which will require "far more than simply expanding our economic and political resources to keep oil flowing steadily" from overseas and elsewhere. There's also no mention of drilling offshore, much less in Alaska, and nothing about exploiting our vast domestic supplies of oil shale.

Fortunately, Democrats have time to fix these political oversights. If they are serious, surely Democrats will have someone rise on the convention floor next week and offer an amendment that endorses offshore drilling and pledges not to extend the Congressional ban on drilling that expires on September 30. Come to think of it, Democrats should offer this amendment in prime time. How better to steal the drilling issue from Republicans?
It's a terrific idea to test the Party's seriousness about applying a truly comprehensive energy solution that would benefit Colorado's middle-class families.

What better approach than having Mark Udall be the one to offer the amendment? Since the DNC is in Udall's backyard (relatively speaking - as close as Denver is to Boulder), and since Udall has professed a serious change of heart on the issue, why not? Maybe the amendment at least could come from the Colorado delegation, and Udall could publicly endorse it.

The Journal expounds:
Mr. Udall's lead in the polls has vanished. "We've got to produce our own oil and gas here in our country," he now says in a new TV spot. But a campaign ad isn't enough. Surely, Mr. Udall will now want to acknowledge his mistake of a year ago and fight to lift the oil-shale ban on the House floor next month. That is, unless his new pro-drilling rhetoric is merely campaign triangulation that he doesn't really believe.
If Mark Udall wants to take the energy issue off the table, and show he is truly serious about solutions rather than political posturing, he could join Bob Schaffer in endorsing a comprehensive energy policy.

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