Last year, CEA launched a successful campaign, which we later reported, sent a bundle of letters supporting responsible drilling to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. More, recently, we’ve highlighted reports confirming what we said: That those in favor of expanded drilling outnumbered opponents by a two-to-one margin.
Seemingly a cause for celebration, except that no one from Interior is focused on this issue. This disparity between what the public wants and what is happening in Washington is increasingly cause for concern.
The latest to weigh in on the injustice is the Heritage Foundation, which cites that same gaping two-to-one margin (how often is any election won by so much?) and asks the very reasonable question How about some transparency on offshore drilling?
“Government inaction simply doesn’t make sense,” notes Heritage, which last year also sponsored a successful Free Our Energy campaign. “Offshore drilling will create jobs and increase energy supply without cost to the taxpayer. It will create revenues for financially strapped state government and increase revenues for federal governments. President Obama said in his State of the Union address that we should make tough decisions about offshore drilling. It sounds like a pretty easy decision.”
In view of such disregard of overwhelming public opinion, it seems that making your opinion heard – while still vital – is no longer sufficient. In 2010, there will be battles over energy policy, but we will also need to get the word out that the public has spoken and that their views are being discarded. In the coming weeks and months we will provide more information about how to keep the pressure on lawmakers to do the right thing with regards to national energy policy.
In the meantime, keep in mind that two-to-one ratio. It’s a remarkably strong vote of confidence for the policies we at CEA promote. Two out of three people support expanded offshore drilling: The more those numbers are shared, the more pressure the Interior Department will come under to remove some of that red tape that stands in the way of sensible policy.