Exporting Oil, Again
October 17, 2015 6 Comments
Yesterday, I mentioned here that a bill again allowing oil exports had passed the House. Here from Marita Noon is a bit more about it, and some inside baseball about the sausage factory as well. I’m an unabashed ideologue, but I do recognize that if you are a member of Congress, you probably should pay attention to your constituents, even if they are foolish Greens or RINO squishes. That too is part of the job, and it’s actually a good thing, as anybody who remember 2009 can attest.
The house passed H.R. 702, the bill to lift the decades old oil export ban—with 26 Democrats joining the majority of Republicans and voting for it.
Republicans could have passed the bill without the Democrats—but there are strategic reasons why it was important to include Democrats. And, getting them on board didn’t happen naturally—especially since two days before the vote the White House issued a veto threat in the form of a “Statement of Administrative Policy.” It says: “Legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time.… If the President were presented with H.R. 702, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”
Twenty-six Democrats went against the wishes of the president and voted with the Republicans—but the number should have been much higher. Getting the companion bill through the Senate will be a heavy lift as the Republicans hold a slim majority. Because of the threat, a veto-proof majority will be needed in the Senate. The Washington Postreported: “the measure still faces a Senate that doesn’t appear eager to take up the issue.” A strong number of Democrats supporting the bill in the House gets the attention of the Democrats in the Senate.
The current news about the potential replacement for House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has brought a split in the Republican Party to the forefront. But there is an equal, perhaps even greater, divide within the Democratic Party. And the two sides do hold very different views—on display in the fight for votes in support of H.R. 702.
Democrats decried the bill saying it would put billions of dollars in the pockets of “Big Oil.” In contrast, understanding that successful businesses mean a strong economy and employment, the Republicans addressed the jobs that have been lost in the oil field—representing hundreds of thousands and real people who are struggling—and touted how H.R. 702 will help.
It’s a confusing, depressing, abstruse, and cumbersome way to run the country. It’s also nearly exactly what the Founder’s intended. Their point was to make it difficult to establish a tyranny, from any direction. It doesn’t help that this shouldn’t have anything at all to do with government, on either the oil or the maritime policy. But the thing is, that horse got out of the barn back when Lincoln hadn’t been thought of, that’s the weakness in a lot of libertarian thinking, they’re correct very often indeed; but they tend to posit a blank sheet of paper, and in many ways, getting that blank sheet, entails a price none of us want to pay.
Elliot reminds us always:
Sin is Behovely, but
All shall be well, and
All manner of thing shall be well.
If I think, again, of this place,
And of people, not wholly commendable,
Of no immediate kin or kindness,
But of some peculiar genius,
All touched by a common genius,
United in the strife which divided them;
If I think of a king at nightfall,
Of three men, and more, on the scaffold
And a few who died forgotten
In other places, here and abroad,
And of one who died blind and quiet
Why should we celebrate
These dead men more than the dying?
It is not to ring the bell backward
Nor is it an incantation
To summon the spectre of a Rose.
We cannot revive old factions
We cannot restore old policies
Or follow an antique drum.
These men, and those who opposed them
And those whom they opposed
Accept the constitution of silence
And are folded in a single party.
Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us—a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.