The Senate sent a clear message to George W today about stockpiling oil at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In a clear rebuke, by a 97 to 1, veto proof vote, the Senate voted to “halt deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over President Bush’s objections.”
The House is expected to follow suit later today.
The action, supported by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, comes as high fuel costs have contributed to the nation’s economic woes and become a hot issue on the campaign trail. It could be the only legislation that Congress passes this year in response to public angst at the fuel pump because of the parties’ differences over energy issues.
Both Clinton and Obama came off the campaign trail for the vote today — John McCain did not which leads me to believe that although he claims to support the measure, fighting rising gas prices does not seem to be a priority for John McSame.
Today, the Senate also “rejected a Republican-sponsored measure that called for increasing production by opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration and relaxing a long-standing ban on new drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.”
And perhaps as early as next week, “a Democratic proposal to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and roll back tax breaks for the industry and new protections against price-gouging is expected to face a Republican-led filibuster when it reaches the Senate floor.” Let’s hope we can avert a standoff on this one and get it passed by some miracle as well.
Politico notes that the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve now 97 percent filled,” and yet BushCo would keep filling it at the record high prices.