What's Wrong With This Man?
Rep. Richard Pombo yesterday passed his offshore oil drilling legislation out of the House Resources Committee. This legislation, which is expected to be passed by the full House on Thursday and has generated the promise of a filibuster from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), would open the coastlines of the United States to offshore oil drilling, which has been under a moratorium for the last 25 years. States would supposedly have the opportunity to opt in or out of the plan, being able to bring drilling in as close as 50 miles offshore but losing altogether the ability to control drilling more than 100 miles off their shores (and, of course, having no say over what their next-door neighbors might be doing). Last Wednesday, when the bill was still in committee, Richard Pombo tried to lean on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, writing him a formal letter requesting his support of the legislation. The response from the governor was underwhelming:
Schwarzenegger has not seen Pombo's letter or the legislation, but he opposes any new offshore drilling "and has consistently opposed congressional attempts to weaken the current federal protections for the California coast," said spokesman Darrel Ng. The governor "has made his opposition to offshore oil drilling clear to both Congress and the president and will continue to do so in the future," Ng said.Schwarzenegger, who is desperately trying to green up his image in anticipation of a tough gubernatorial race in November, made it clear when he gave his formal response that he was not going to serve as a wing-man for Pombo.
Although Pombo and Schwarzenegger, both Republicans, have cooperated on issues including seeking more money for Sacramento levee repairs, the conservative House member and the moderate governor disagree on many environmental issues. Pombo's election-year challenge to Schwarzenegger on offshore drilling -- strongly opposed by a majority of California voters -- is not likely to change that.
"Just last month, the House of Representatives voted once again to extend this moratorium, a process that has worked in the past and is working today to protect our coast. I see no reason to jettison this longstanding and workable approach," the governor wrote Pombo in a letter released Tuesday. […]Ahem.
"As long as Pombo is using his position to do the dirty work for Big Oil, he's going to alienate the majority of Californians who want their coast protected," said Eric Antebi of the Sierra Club.
"No wonder Gov. Schwarzenegger rejected Pombo's drilling scheme." A February poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that two-thirds of all Californians oppose lifting the drilling ban; that included 46 percent of Republicans.
So late yesterday Pombo, not to be deterred, responded:
In a conference call today with California reporters, Pombo bristled at the governor's latest critique.Ouch!
"I think the governor is probably getting bad advice on this," Pombo said. "Anyone who really does want to control or stop any kind of energy exploration off the coast of California, this bill is written for them."
He went on to make a less-than-favorable comparison between Schwarzenegger and another Republican governor opposed to drilling, Florida's Jeb Bush, who has expressed some support for Pombo's new bill, which is expected to get a House vote on Thursday.
"There's probably not a governor in the whole country who is more anti-drilling than Jeb Bush," the Tracy Republican said. "At the same time, he actually read the bill."
While we're holding our breaths, awaiting the anticipated response from Schwarzenegger, let’s actually look at the price tag for this offshore drilling bill -- something I guarantee Pombo doesn’t want us to do.
According to Rigzone, “Your Gateway to the Oil and Gas Industry,” Pombo’s offshore drilling plan would COST the US government $11 billion over the next decade, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. But that’s not all.
A preliminary estimate by Interior's Minerals Management Service last week projected the bill would cost the government $69 billion over 15 years.Think about it -- $69 billion of yours and my tax money. Think of the real solutions and benefits that our country could reap from $69 billion invested in renewable energy research. And he’s willing to sell that out for $182,134 in contributions to his re-election fund. Pombo is just pure evil. He must be stopped.