Posted by R. Neal

Since the first day of his administration, Bush has wanted to open up the Gulf Coast for offshore oil and natural gas drilling. And since the first day of his administration he has been at odds with his brother Jeb, the Governor of Florida, who doesn't want offshore drilling in his back yard.

Last week, House Republicans tried to use the energy "crisis" resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as an excuse to lift the ban on offshore drilling, which was enacted by Congress in 1981 and extended by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

This wasn't their first attempt. George W. Bush proposed lifting the ban soon after taking office in 2001. More recently, approval to drill in the Artic National Wildlife Reserve emboldened Bush and his pals to make another run at it.

Thankfully, a bi-partisan coalition of Florida lawmakers led by Governor Jeb stopped the latest attempt. Sadly, George W. Bush has three more years to turn the Gulf over to his pals for drilling, and Brother Jeb will be term-limited out before the current ban on one area expires. Note: all of the known reserves in the Gulf would provide only about two years of oil and three-and-a-half years of natural gas based on current U.S. demand.