The Election Issue Of All Election Issues: Drilling Ban Expires Oct 1

Yesterday, the fine folks over at Americans for Prosperity alerted me to the fact that the election issue of all election issues has been dumped into the GOP’s lap.

You see, on October 1st, 2008, “the existing bans on Outer Continental Shelf drilling and oil shale leasing expire — unless Congress specifically votes to extend the bans.”

What will likely happen, according to AFP is that “Congressional leaders will likely try to sneak an extension into supposedly ‘must-pass’ last-minute spending legislation.”

Republicans, including most importantly, John McCain, should refuse to support ANY legislation that extends the drilling ban. That means they should speak out against it, they should vote against it, and George Bush should veto it if it comes across his desk.

This should not be a issue in the 2008 election, the GOP should make it THE ISSUE of the 2008 elections.

Even with gas prices as high as they are, the Democrats want to keep a drilling ban in place while Republicans want to take action that will help reduce prices, in the short and long term. What do you think the American people are going to think about that news if the GOP has the guts to make it a centerpiece of their electoral strategy?

The GOP, John McCain included, is already talking the talk on this issue and if they walk the walk and the Democrats predictably, yet foolishly, fight to keep us from drilling, this issue alone could literally make the difference in the presidential race and save multiple seats for the GOP in the House and Senate.

So, take a look at what I have written and take a look at the letter the AFP has been sending around to Congress that follows and call your senators and congressmen, call your favorite talk radio host and get them talking about this, write your favorite bloggers, and email your friends. If the Republican pols on the Hill see that this is taking off, they will get on board, too, and it can change the face of the political landscape in 2008.

Now, here’s the letter from AFP that I mentioned,

On behalf of our millions of members and all American consumers suffering from high energy prices, we urge you to allow the current restrictions on much-needed American energy resources to expire as scheduled under current law. Unless Congress acts affirmatively to prevent it, October 1st, 2008 will be a day fittingly described as “American Energy Freedom Day” as those restrictions expire.

According to estimates from the Department of the Interior, the Outer Continental Shelf contains 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and there is an additional 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil locked in oil shale in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

Now that President Bush has lifted the executive branch moratorium, the only thing prohibiting development of these energy resources is a temporary ban that is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year. On October 1, 2008, domestic energy resources will no longer be held off-limits by the federal government.

We urge you to oppose the creation of any new moratorium for fiscal 2009, even if it is attached to what some people in Washington consider “must-pass” legislation. We further urge you to sustain a presidential veto of any measure to impose a new moratorium.

A strong majority of the American public sees drilling expansion as necessary to reduce fuel prices now and in the long run. Creating new restrictions on domestic energy development would fly in the face of public opinion and exacerbate the pain every American citizen feels at the pump.

PS: Here’s Jim DeMint on American Energy Freedom Day,

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