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Major Conflict Brewing Over Offshore Drilling Revenues in Climate Bill

You know things are about to get ugly when three Democratic Senators who strongly oppose something are met with this response from their colleague:

“If there’s no drilling, the interior states get no money,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “And there is not going to be any drilling unless there is revenue sharing.”“They [interior states] can have 100 percent of zero, or they can have 65 to 75 percent of something huge. Now let them go figure it out,” she added.

Dorgan, Bingaman and Rockefeller must have known revenue sharing was part of the offshore drilling package being worked out. The question then, is, what is their end game?

Is this an intentional attempt to delay and/or block the process?

Or do they think Senator Landrieu and others who support revenue sharing with the states will give in (hint: they won’t)?

Or are they just making bad noises here so they can get something else added to the bill in return for their dissatisfaction?

Either way, the sad part about this is how much the debate has shifted to the right on the issue. Due to Obama’s pre-emptive cave three weeks ago, the main contention seems to be over what to do with the money generated from offshore drilling, rather than whether or not to actually drill. If Obama had charted a different course on this as recently as the end of March I can’t help but think proponents of a clean energy bill would have a stronger hand right now.

What do you think?

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Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is a blogger, activist, and avid news junkie. He is currently the Manager of New Media at a Washington, DC area PR/Communications firm. In his spare time he enjoys arguing on the Internet, spending time with good people and talking politics. He can be reached at josh.nelson.dc@gmail.com.

Josh blogs about sustainability and politics at EnviroKnow.

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