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Thursday, July 24, 2008


Republicans say they want to provide relief at the gas pump for Americans.

So why did they kill an effort to release 70 million barrels of oil from the national stockpile?

Partisan intimidation, of course:
Despite winning a clear 268-157 majority, the measure still lost. Democratic leaders had brought the proposal up for debate under rules requiring a two-thirds vote to pass.

But passing the bill by just a majority would have meant allowing Republicans to force a vote on new offshore drilling leases.

"They're hiding from a vote," said GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio. "They're scared to death to allow us to ... force their members to vote on drilling."

Democrats said the release from the oil reserve could provide relief at the pump within two weeks, though they would not say how much it would help $4-per-gallon gas. Earlier releases, such as a 34 million barrel drawdown in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War, caused prices to fall.

As debate began, the White House threatened a veto. "Rather than drawing down a strategic reserve intended to protect our nation's energy security from a severe supply disruption, Congress should pass legislation to increase domestic oil supply," the White House said in a statement.

So, rather than helping the American people now, the Republicans would rather hold out so that they can argue their cause - which, in the short term, would only benefit their oil industry buddies? Something smells, and it ain't oil.

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