The Gang of 10

Friday, August 8th, 2008 3:57 pm by Neal
The “Gang of 10” includes both Georgia Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Georgia’s two Senators — Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson — have done it again. Last year it was their botched support for the misguided Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Now they’ve joined a bipartisan coalition — the “Gang of 10” — in supporting a compromise deal on energy legislation that is a horrible sell-out of their constituents to radical environmentalists and nervous Democrats.

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel has the dirty details in her piece, Republican Energy Fumble:

It’s taken time, but Sen. McCain and his party have finally found — in energy — an issue that’s working for them. Riding voter discontent over high gas prices, the GOP has made antidrilling Democrats this summer’s headlines. …

Still, it was probably too much to assume every Republican would work out that their side was winning this issue. And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson — alongside five Senate Democrats. This “Gang of 10” announced a “sweeping” and “bipartisan” energy plan to break Washington’s energy “stalemate.” What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.

That’s because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast — putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska’s oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.

The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies! The Sierra Club couldn’t have penned it better. And so the Republican Five has potentially given antidrilling Democrats the political cover they need to neutralize energy through November. …

The “bipartisan” Republican senators have undercut these efforts, and boosted Ms. Landrieu. They’ve even put a smile on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s face. He’d been struggling to tamp down the energy debate through November, where he hopes to increase his majority and permanently shelve drilling. He’s now counting on the Gang to fruitlessly continue “negotiations” straight through the Senate’s short September session and solve his problem for him.

Writing on the Corner, Larry Kudlow slams the “bipartisan compromise”:

Bush removed the executive moratorium order, and now the entire country is clamoring for Congress to remove its moratorium. So far the Reid-Pelosi Democrats continue to dither and oppose new drilling. And as Kim Strassel wrote in today’s Wall Street Journal, the so-called “Gang of 10” compromise is a lousy deal. Obama is flirting with that compromise, but he has basically positioned himself as the anti-driller. Fortunately John McCain has repositioned himself as the pro-driller, and his rising polls show popular support.

Here’s our letter to Senator Chambliss (a similar letter was sent to Senator Isakson):

SUBJECT: Get out of the Gang of 10

Senator Chambliss,

Your participation in the Gang of 10 is unacceptable and embarrassing. Why on Earth do you join in “bipartisan” efforts that completely undermine your Conservative constituents? Last year it was Comprehensive Immigration Reform; now you’re supporting an energy “solution” that is less a “compromise” than a “sellout.”

Here’s a hint: If Harry Reid is happy and thinks he got a good deal, then the country has been screwed.

I’ve read the WSJ piece. I’ve listened to Rush, and I’ve listened to you speak to Rush. I appreciate that you’re trying to get the oil moving; however, this compromise is a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease.

I want a Senator that FIGHTS the liberals not enables them!

Senator, I’m confident that you’re getting an earful from furious Georgians. After hearing your call to Rush, I highly recommend that you RUN from this position as quickly as possible. Show us that you can admit to a mistake and correct it. I, for one, will forgive you.

Here’s a very naive statement from Senator Chambliss’ press release on the “compromise”:

The Senators believe their compromise energy plan will generate a groundswell of support among the American people as well as their colleagues in Congress and lead to the development of comprehensive legislation to tackle the nation’s energy crisis.

Well, we suspect they have generated a groundswell…of furious constituents!

The “Gang of 10” are: Saxby Chambliss (R-G.A.), Johnny Isakson (R-G.A.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

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