CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Republican U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, OH-02, says abundant oil supplies for American needs are locked up offshore and in Alaska, and Democrats who now run the House should get the blame. But Jerome Corsi, author of the best-selling The Obama Nation, probably could write a book arguing that Schmidt is full of it. The opening chapter might be: Asleep at the wheel two years ago. Back in May 2006, Corsi -- conservative icon of the moment -- wrote a column for Human Events called "If Cuba Can Drill for Oil, Why Can't We?" At the time, gas was $3 a gallon and Corsi contended President Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress weren't doing enough to open offshore and Alaskan oilfields. Corsi was tough on the Dems, but said it was the duty of Republicans like Schmidt to take action:
"Conservative Republicans have never had a more historic opportunity to push for oil exploration offshore and in Alaska. Gas prices have topped $3 a gallon. We have Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. A conservative Republican president should be expected to press for more drilling, to increase the supply of oil to lower prices, not to pass new pass new windfall profit taxes . . .
"Pushing to drill for oil would increase the Bush administration's dwindling support among conservatives. Maybe if our Republican Congress will not push to increase supplies, the Republican administration can outsource the job to the Chinese, just as the Cubans are doing . . . If the administration has an urge to dig a hole for itself, maybe somebody could channel that urge into a determination to dig for oil."
Schmidt blames the Democrats entirely: "Despite the fact that technology exists to allow extraction of oil in an environmentally responsible way, the current leadership in Congress refuses to allow us to do what every other developed nation in the world does -- drill and explore on its own outer continental shelf."
But what was she saying in 2006 when Republicans were in the driver's seat? A link available here leads to an Aug. 9, 2006 Schmidt press release about the need for energy independence. There's not a word about drilling. A pertinent excerpt is reprinted below:
"There is another way to impact terrorism funding. We simply must reduce the amount of oil we purchase from the Persian Gulf. Our nation must become energy independent as soon as feasible.
"For decades we have heard the virtues of mass transit and alternative sources of energy. Those virtues now include our national security. We have come a long way with hybrid technology already. Ethanol will be available at the pump this month in Cincinnati. Hydrogen fuel cells are working on test cars. However, we need to continue to invest in technologies and research. We also need to increase the minimum mileage requirements on our cars and trucks.
"I recently purchased a new ethanol powered vehicle as my daily driver. I will be one of the first in line to buy ethanol this month. Not because ethanol is less costly or even because it is much better for the environment; I will be filling up with Ethanol because I no longer want to send my money to the Persian Gulf. I’ll send my money to our farmers instead. Corn growers, as it turns out, are not so prone to extremism.
"We have had decades of talk. It is now time to act in the best interests of our country."