It looks like if the GOP is going to get a vote on offshore drilling, they are going to have to swallow hard and help fund alternative energy as well - plus any other add on the Democrats can think of to poison the bill and get the Republicans to oppose it.
This is Pelosi's game; the Democrats are going to load up any energy bill with so many wasteful, stupid, additions like a "windfall profits" tax - perhaps even a raise in the gas tax - that it will force Republicans to either accept the environmentalists agenda or vote against drilling:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday firmly rejected the idea of a House vote solely on the issue of offshore oil drilling, calling it "a hoax on the American people" backed by oil companies.
Instead, she said, she wants Congress to tackle a compromise comprehensive energy plan that would include alternative energy sources and curtailing tax breaks for oil companies.
"You want to drill? We want the royalties for the American people, and we want that to pay for renewable energy resources," the San Francisco Democrat said in an interview for KQED television's weekly news show, "This Week in Northern California." "We want to connect all that together."
There's still a chance to get a separate vote on drilling. An amendment could be offered that will include lifting the ban on offshore drilling and probably a few enticements regarding alternative energy sources in order to bring a few Democrats to their side. This amendment might be voted on as a substitute for the Democrat's bill. It's procedurely tricky but it is still a possibility.
Pelosi has tipped her hand in the coming battle so at least Republicans know what to expect. After her talk earlier in the month regarding a vote on drilling, one almost expected she was serious about giving the GOP and those members of her own party who wanted to increase our oil supply a chance at an up or down vote. Now we know she was just playing politics as usual.