House Republicans passed H.R. 1, a Continuing Resolution to fund National Parks and increase funds for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), the agency charged with offshore drilling regulation and permitting. The Democrat controlled Senate has not passed a bill to fund the government.
Further, it was the Democrat controlled House in the 111th Congress that failed to pass a budget or a funding bill to keep National Parks open or oversee offshore oil and natural gas development.
Democrats created this problem and now are shifting the blame and refusing to stand up and help solve it.
Why does this explanation become important today? It is important today because the Democrats and the media outlets that carry water for them and President Obama want you to think that those mean Republicans in the House are going to shut down the government and the National Parks will close and oil rigs will go unmonitored without the red tape of permits and inspections being doled out. Rep Markey - a predictable foe of oil and gas drilling - puts forth this nonsense:
"Due to the potential House Republicans’ forced government shutdown, for the first time since early 1996, America’s national parks and Smithsonian museums may shutter this weekend, canceling plans for countless American families. Hundreds of oil rig inspectors could be sent home, threatening the safety of workers. And any permitting of new resource development would stop, turning a Republican-created moratorium myth into reality."
Here's the problem with Markey's statement: if you live on the Gulf coast and are any way connected with the oil and gas industry, you know this moratorium is no fantasy of Republican spinmeisters. It is very much a reality. There is no end in sight, despite the posturing of Team Obama on how quickly they are moving to end the shutdown. It's re-election campaign time, you know. Why else would the White House be so defensive and aggressively tout their work as gas prices rise and permits haven't been issued for eleven months? The permits being issued now are for existing wells, not for exploring or drilling new wells.
The price of crude oil is today at $108 per barrel. Rep Markey should be ashamed of himself for bringing in the safety of oil and gas workers and the tragic death of the eleven people on the Deepwater Horizon in April, 2010. But, this is how the Democrats use people and circumstances to further their agenda.
Ask any worker - the ones Rep Markey feigns concern for now - how they feel about President Obama's agenda on energy and you will get an earful. What does that tell you?
Do not be fooled. President Obama and the Democrats have no intention of putting together a common sense budget for our struggling economic recovery.