Pelosi lukewarm on drilling policy

Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn't directly criticize the call for drilling off the coast, but said it must be done in an "environmentally and fiscally responsible" manner.

Taxpayers who own the resources have been "historially shortchanged" from the profits earned by companies drilling on public lands, Pelosi said in a statement.



The rest of Pelosi's statement focused on aspects of Obama's energy policy that she supports.


Coming from a liberal Californian who has opposed offshore drillilng, those words perhaps were a victory for the White House in themselves.

Obama's plan is to allow drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and to allow leasing to go forward off the coast of Virginia and other mid-Atlantic and southeastern states.

The plan does not include drilling off the West Coast, which surely would have drawn the wrath of Pelosi and other Californians.

Wider offshore drilling is not part of the sweeping climate change and energy bill that Pelosi steered through the House last year. But Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and other architects of upcoming Senate climate and energy legislation plan to include drilling measures as they seek backing from Republicans, industry groups and centrist Democrats.

Here’s Pelosi’s whole statement:

We appreciate the president’s ongoing commitment and call for comprehensive energy reform legislation that is critical to America’s energy independence, economic growth and national security. 

It was important for the American people to hear from the President about the steps being taken by the federal government and the military to lower our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. We welcome the President’s announcement that tomorrow the Administration will finalize standards to increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than 30 years. And we support the President in highlighting the federal government’s investment in clean energy that will not only create good-paying American jobs, but also help the environment.

The Obama Administration’s initiative regarding drilling on public lands must ensure that any offshore and onshore plan proceeds in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner. Taxpayers who own these resources have been historically shortchanged from the huge profits received from drilling on public lands, and must receive a fair return in the future. 

Through the historic and job-creating investments in the Recovery Act, our nation has taken solid steps toward a clean energy future.  The clean energy jobs legislation passed by the House last year preserves our manufacturing base, protects consumers, strengthens our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and keeps America number one by making our country a world leader in new technologies. 

We remain committed to working with the President on comprehensive reform to ensure our nation's energy security.