Thursday, October 13, 2005

 

Republicans, Democrats and Oil Refineries

The House of Representatives barely passed a bill designed to bring about construction of new oil refineries. H.S. 3893 passed 212-210.

No Democrats voted for the bill and some Republicans also voted against.
Supporters of the measure said that hurricanes quatrain and rite made clear that the country needs more refineries, including new ones outside of the Gulf region. Critics argued it would allow the oil industry to avoid environmental regulations that would lead to dirtier air. -CBS News
The fate of the bill in the Senate seems questionable as does the quality of the legislation itself. There appears to be too little protection of the environment.

Yet, the Democrats offer no proposals it appears (if they are they're getting no press), only opposition. As I've stated before, I would LOVE for the Democratic Party to become stronger and less radical with a greater focus on the plight of everyday people and their everyday life. BUT to become stronger, the Democrats are going to have to learn how to LEAD.

Leading (from Merriam-Webster) 1 a : to guide on a way especially by going in advance b : to direct on a course or in a direction

Political leadership is looking down the road far enough to anticipate the needs of the country and its citizens. As we have all seen, our oil refinery system is fragile and stretched near its limit. Consider this:
In 1981, the United States had 325 refineries capable of producing million barrels a day. Today there are fewer than half that number, producing million barrels daily. Still, refining capacity has been increasing, though not dramatically, for the last decade. Imports have made up the difference as demand has continued to increase.
We need oil refineries. This doesn't mean refineries that over pollute and giving oil companies bigger breaks than they deserve. BUT where is the Democratic plan? Show us some leadership. Create a infrastructure and system which won't collapse whenever a hurricane hits the coast of Louisiana or Texas. Don't wait until campaigning time because then I won't believe you. It'll just be empty campaign promises. Introduce legislation now that addresses this and other problems our nation faces. Take a leadership role. If Republicans resist good, solid legislation, guess who looks bad.

Right now you can protest, criticize and point fingers at Republicans all you want. But until you, the Democrats, do something yourselves to actually solve the problems you're just another whiner in the crowd.

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