With the threat of a President Bush veto looming overhead, Congressional Democrats are letting the ban on offshore drilling expire next week. The hot button topic has been debated since Mr. Bush lifted the presidential ban back in July, leaving only House Democrats to stand between big oil and U.S. shorelines. Democrats countered that the environment was more important than expensive gasoline, and although Dems have a majority in both the House and Senate, they don't have enough votes to trump a veto.
House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio calls the move "a victory for Americans," but it's likely most environmentalists aren't in much of a celebratory mood right now. Mainstream America, however, will likely welcome any news that could lead to relief at the pump. And although any drilling could take years to come to fruition, the knowledge that America's vast offshore reserves will eventually enter the fossil fuel fray could help calm the volatile market. Whether cheaper gasoline is coming or not, the shift away from gas-gobbling SUVs and trucks looks to be a permanent one. Here's to hoping that by the time the drills are ready to pump crude, protesters will have a far larger choice of EVs to take to the rally.