Newt Gingrich’s “Solutions” for America’s Energy Woes: Drill, Baby, Drill!

If anybody deserves credit for almost single-handedly revitalizing the once defunct movement for offshore oil drilling, it’s former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

After spending a few years wandering the political desert, salvaging his tarnished reputation and peddling his views on various conservative outlets, Gingrich made a political comeback of sorts when he founded American Solutions for Winning the Future, a supposedly non-partisan (or, in his words, “tri-partisan”) 527 group, in late 2007. While its mission is ostensibly to propose solutions for America’s most vexing issues by encouraging multi-sectoral grassroots engagement, the organization has largely come to be defined by its aggressive promotion of offshore drilling – a politically astute position that has helped it raise $13.1 million, according to a new investigative report published by the Center for Public Integrity.

Despite claims to the contrary, Gingrich has taken a highly partisan approach to running American Solutions, launching its “Drill here. Drill now. Pay less” campaign only a month before McCain called for the lifting of the ban on federal offshore drilling and going so far as to openly state his desire to do everything in his power to, “be helpful to the McCain campaign.” John McCain himself began to adopt the “Drill Now” slogan while on the campaign trail this summer, much to Gingrich’s delight, culminating in the loud “Drill, baby, drill!” cheers that erupted during the Republican convention.

The group is being underwritten by seven of McCain’s top fundraisers, including billionaire mogul Sheldon Adelson and American Financial Group CEO Carl Lindner. While it claims to be a grassroots-based organization, it has raised over $8.9 million, or 68 percent of its total funding, from 40 large donors. To avoid being subjected to stringent campaign finance laws, the group has refrained from formally endorsing John McCain’s candidacy though Gingrich has made no bones about his support for the Senator from Arizona.

As Joe Romm and others have noted, Gingrich has unfairly earned a reputation for being an environmental “moderate,” reaping praise from Slate and The Washington Post, which credited him for adopting a mainstream, bipartisan approach to environmentalism, and getting a starring role in a high-profile ad for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.

Brad Johnson from Wonk Room reported on Friday that Gingrich was readying the next phase of American Solutions’ offshore drilling push, which include a new book – creatively titled “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less” – published by right-wing imprimatur Regnery and “We Have the Power,” a movie created by his wife that will be distributed by the right-wing organization Citizens United. Gingrich’s devotion to the cause has already yielded substantial dividends: According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll, 74 percent of the electorate now supports offshore drilling – this despite the fact that even the Bush administration’s Energy Information Agency has admitted that the impact of drilling on oil prices would be insignificant.

Displaying his unique brand of “bipartisanship,” Gingrich has strenuously opposed all efforts to hash out a compromise deal on drilling, which would’ve opened up some offshore areas to drilling in exchange for guaranteeing the extension of renewable tax credits, lambasting the deal as “an $85 billion tax increase disguised as an energy bill” in a column for Human Events.Despite his protestations, the compromise bill may come up for a vote in the Congress as early as this Thursday.)

While it remains to be seen whether Gingrich’s latest ploy will prove successful, and whether it will carry McCain and Sarah Palin, his protégé, past the presidential finishing line, you can bet his name will come up again – if not this election cycle, then next year and, quite possibly, in 2012.

Editor's note: this is Jeremy Jacquot first post for DeSmogBlog, please read DeSmogBlog welcomes Jeremy Jacquot.



There’s where you’re wrong. I rarely drive (I bus mostly). Also, Obama is pledging to get plug-in hybrids produced en masse, which will greatly reduce Americans’ dependence on oil. The price of oil will continue to rise, causing a sea change in Americans’ buying habits and behaviour. If the American economy continues to rely on oil, then the middle class won’t have an idea the misery they’ll be in. Today’s suffering will be a cakewalk compared to $8 or $10 a gallon gas, which will happen within a couple of years. (With China and India driving at accelerated rates, the demand for fuel will skyrocket and, since supply has peaked or nearly peaked, prices won’t drop again.)

Also, Obama is pledging to get plug-in hybrids produced en masse, which will greatly reduce Americans’ dependence on oil.

Then they better start building the hundreds of nuke plants to power all those electric cars. And what about the 8.4 million diesel trucks on the road who bring the food to your stores and the cloths you wear? Where are they going to get their alternative from?

Just to be clear, I’m fine with nuclear power given proper safeguards and security.

Also, instead of the 8.4 million diesel trucks on the road, how about we get the train service back? It emits far less CO2 and would put more people to work. Plus, it’s far more efficient than having one person drive one load to one location. (You have several people transporting maybe 100 loads to a location.)

That’s the problem with many conservatives. They lack imagination or vision. They’d prefer the status quo even if the status quo is inefficient.

Then you have absolutly no idea how important oil is the any modern economy and society. I ask, if I were to drain all your blood from your body would you be better off and more prosperous. No, you would be dead. And that is exactly what would happen to everyone in the US should oil be removed from society. Every single item you havem you need to survive has somewhere a link to oil.

Unless that is, you want to see a 90% cull in the human population with the rest living like the dark ages.

our way to the poorhouse.

It’s such a car culture with so many unnecessary miles driven. So wasteful. We’ll know we’ve passed peak oil when the roads aren’t so clogged up.

Don’t drive.
Nobody cares if you become a hermit.
It will simply leave more room for my car on the road.
Where I will drive any time I feel the urge for as long as I find it amusing.

For the moment!!!! We live in a free country.
Liberals would work to end that.

ABL - Anywhichway but Left!!!

“Where I will drive any time I feel the urge for as long as I find it amusing.”

That’s personal responsibility you can believe in, …

…my friends.


I take full responsibility for the purchase of every drop of oil and watt of power I consume.
I pay for all of it with my own money and never once ask for any of you (through taxes) to subsidize me.
I am not a Socialist that thinks others should take responsibility for my welfare.

Until someone rewrites the laws of physics and the laws of the land, I will work hard to earn my own money and will spend it however I please.

You can earn your own as well or just whine to governemnt for hand outs.

Ha - I’m picturing Gary sitting in a Hummer in front of David’s House revving the engine.

Picture away but…..
I drive a Miata.
Not because it is fuel efficient But because it is fun.
(and fuel efficient)

Final Arctic Sea Ice Figures are in.

Melting is over, freeze up has started up. There was a 9.4% increase in sea ice over last year. Of course all the headlines are that it is the second lowest amount of ice.

Spin City. Though I’m sure Desmog will remain above such distortions in their determination to shine a light on the truth about climate change and Arctic sea ice realities.

Dang, how dare those headlines point out (correctly) that the amount of ice is the “second lowest”! (Which is also 9.4% more than the first lowest.)

Such headlines get in the way of the Royalty-in-Kind head’s sexual exploits with his office harem… and that’s treason!


(“Royalty-in-Kind” is such a long-winded phrase. Perhaps I should simply call it Sex-for-Oil? Or Oil-for-Sex? Or Sex-Oil?)


… the difference between climate and weather. Any one year is just weather; several years are the start of a trend. That”s climate. Last year was worrisome, this year adds to the concern. Next year could be much better, but scientists expect the trend to continue on it’s current path.

Arctic sea ice is showing a long term trend; It just half of what it was when satellite measurements began in 1979; modern computer models show that the arctic could be ice free by 2013. Then again, maybe it won’t happen until 2030. Either way, it’s serious. Just three years ago, they were expecting the arctic to be ice free in 2060… The situation is so volatile.

The massive retreat of glaciers and the arctic sea ice over the last four years tells a compelling story. At current rates, by 2030, there won’t be enough water from glacier melt to support people in central Asia, putting severe pressure on more than 2 billion people. Methane levels have spiked for the last two years, and Russian scientists say it’s because the tundra is thawing.

You suggested that I shouldn’t be wasting my time on here, debating the issues. And yet, I’m out there now, trying to do something, and that’s also something you find amusing.

What do you suggest?

“… the difference between climate and weather. Any one year is just weather; several years are the start of a trend”

Isolated weather events are ALWAYS offered up as proof of Global warming. I’m just playing your game.

No they’re not. No serious climatologist ever does that. They may say that recent trends in severe weather events show that global warming may be a contributing factor, but they never say that a single outlying event is a sign of global warming.

Rick, I seriously think you have a case of Limbaughitis. You’re ignoring the facts and reading too much of Sen. Inhofe’s bullshit.

a 10% increase is what it is. a few weeks ago you guys were saying it would all melt away. If it was a 1% decrease it would be headlines everywhere. Maybe we’re starting a 50 year cooling cycle. Thats the history. multi decade one way and then the other. It’s time for cooling.

You have actually looked at the trend haven’t you?
Try the Cryosphere website. 2007 was exceptional, but 2008 carries on the trend. Where do you get the idea that AGW supporters don’t use trends. That is the province of denialists, with their 1998 or 2005 or whatever example.

politicians are all the same

sorry Frank - your grand future with the democrats looks a lot like what we already have.

Eh? I heard that Dubya plans to veto the bill. (I guess it’s because the bill doesn’t allocate his fair share of harem babes.)


no not really. I’m pointing to him as an example of AGW talkers that don’t really believe their own words. He says “we should all do our bit” not because he believes in anything but because AGW is the politically correct thing at the moment. PC peer pressure is the motor that’s running this whole AGW thing. The public in general don’t believe in it. They just don’t want to ruffle feathers more than they have to. I believe that’s the story of AGW from top to bottom.

Rick said:
“The public in general don’t believe in it.”

In general I agree.
But I would be interested in any and all opinions on the following question:

Do you think the current election constitutes a referedum on Canada’s acceptance of AGW?

If Harper wins, can we stop claiming that an overwhelming majority of Canadians are on side?

If Harper looses, I would concede that most Canadians agree with AGW. Opinions??????