The bastards want Congress to first lift the ban on offshore drilling before they will consider changes to "a bill designed to rein in speculation on the markets in which crude oil futures are traded. The senator and others think that speculators have driven up the price of oil and could be responsible for more than $1 of the cost of a gallon of gasoline at the pump."
Manipulative bastards. From the McClatchy link:
Though some Republicans are sympathetic to the need to provide tighter control over energy markets, they say that any energy legislation should include lifting the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.
Cantwell and most Democrats oppose lifting the offshore-drilling ban. They quote the Department of Energy as saying that offshore oil and gas wells wouldn't come online for seven to 10 years and the impact on prices would be insignificant. Democrats also say that oil companies already have more than 68 million acres along the outer continental shelf and on other federal lands under lease that haven't been drilled on.
Republicans counter that there are abundant resources offshore and polls show that a majority of Americans support more drilling on the outer continental shelf.
Only Americans that are uninformed support offshore drilling. Because they have been constantly fed bullshit by the Republicans and Bush that doing so will lower the price of gasoline in the immediate future. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Its all a ruse to help out their cronies in the Oil Bidness. Pete Domenici is heading this horeshit move in order to help his personal pals at Mirant, an Atlanta-based energy company. What started this little standoff is Maria Cantwell's blocking of three nominations to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. One of Pete's pals is one of the nominees.