Bonnie Erbe: 'Congress Handling the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Better Than Most Americans'

May 20th, 2010 4:21 PM

"What the hell is wrong you you people?!"

That's essentially what PBS "To the Contrary" host and US News & World Report contributor Bonnie Erbe wrote in her May 19 Thomas Jefferson Street blog post "Congress Handling the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Better than Most Americans."

"Although the Gulf spill has lowered the percentage of Americans who support offshore oil drilling, a new Pew Forum poll finds a stunning 54 percent still support it," an incredulous Erbe wrote, adding, "So it will take more than a major, irreversible environmental disaster to persuade gas glugging Americans to trade in their pickups for hybrids. I see."

To Erbe, it can't possibly be that average Americans are more even-keeled than their hot-headed, grandstanding congressmen who would capitalize on a disaster for crass political gain. No, it's that oil-addicted American idiots across the fruited plain just aren't following the example of their betters on the Hill:

Congress is clearly ahead of the American public on this one, despite claims by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that shutting down offshore oil drilling would drive gas prices to $14 per gallon.

A ban on all offshore oil drilling is not even under consideration in any quarter, but stricter rules and higher payments for spills are being prepared in legislative form. Congress is likely to raise the cap on damage payments by oil companies from its current $75 million dollars to a figure in the billions. Let's hope the American public catches up with Congress soon.