From this morning on WWL-TV…
Everything Scalise says is correct and he’s to be congratulated for making the argument. Hopefully he’ll make some headway toward getting something passed.
But frankly, at this point there is zero reason to have any faith or interest in anything Congress does.
Steve Scalise, after all, works as the House Whip for John Boehner. And John Boehner, though he’s not as horrendously awful as Mitch McConnell on the Senate side, is GOP leadership.
We know GOP leadership is useless, and we know that Scalise is tainted by that uselessness – whether he’s carried along with the tide or actively carries the tide from his Whip position at Boehner’s behest doesn’t matter.
So yes, we’d like to see Steve Scalise get the ban on oil exports lifted, because it would help to undo, if in a small way, the damage the low price of oil is doing to the Louisiana economy (though putting more American oil onto the world market probably keeps the price of oil low rather than raising it – natural gas is a completely different story, however, given the lack of an export structure) that low prices have caused.
But the GOP in Congress no longer has the ability to make constructive policy and get it implemented. Not without surrendering on even larger policy issues to the Democrats and their president.
The cost of a lift on the crude export ban is unknown at this point. But whatever it is it will be too high, and the GOP leadership’s willingness to pay it makes raising the issue as anything more than a rhetorical point dangerous.
Here’s hoping Scalise isn’t raising this issue in order to create a sweetener by which bad Democrat legislation is thus supposed to be accepted by conservatives in Congress. We think he’s better than that, but John Boehner is not.