Squeezing More Political Oil From The Rock

Nancy Pelosi appears to be bound and determined to play into Republican hands when it comes to the issue of allowing more offshore drilling:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday firmly rejected the idea of a House vote solely on the issue of offshore oil drilling, calling it “a hoax on the American people” backed by oil companies.

Instead, she said, she wants Congress to tackle a compromise comprehensive energy plan that would include alternative energy sources and curtailing tax breaks for oil companies.

“You want to drill? We want the royalties for the American people, and we want that to pay for renewable energy resources,” the San Francisco Democrat said in an interview for KQED television’s weekly news show, “This Week in Northern California.” “We want to connect all that together.”

So . . . Oil companies are now expected to give up royalties while at the same time offering their services in drilling offshore? Presumably, Pelosi has never been introduced to the idea of paying or getting paid for actual services. If she had, she would understand that no oil company worth its salt would agree to drilling offshore without getting just compensation for its efforts.

But of course, the practical effect of all of this is to continue to draw out a debate over offshore drilling that has only served to benefit Republicans. By now, any reasonably savvy Speaker of the House would have moved to limit the political damage to her party. Pelosi seems to want to exacerbate it. If I didn’t know better, I would think that she had been bought off by the GOP and is now serving as a secret Republican agent of House Democratic destruction.