Monday, August 11, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Weekly Update -- August 10, 2008

Drill Here, Drill Now -- But What Are The Oil Companies Planning?

Nationally, Drill Here, Drill Now seems to be the only issue where Republicans are gaining any traction with voters during 2008. For those who don’t know, Drill Here, Drill Now started on the website A couple of mouse clicks on the American Solutions website will take you to a screen with friendly welcome from none other than former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Based on where this started, skeptics can easily surmise that Drill Here, Drill Now is nothing more than a political ploy to distract voters from real issues of the 2008 election. There are many questions about what the oil companies will do if Drill Here, Drill Now actually brings policy changes in Washington. Do oil companies really want to Drill Here, Drill Now and put more oil on the open market, causing oil prices to go down thus decreasing their record profits? Could the oil companies and the politicians that are friendly with them have other motives in mind beyond providing less expensive gas at the pumps?

Realize this, there is nothing about Drill Here, Drill Now that will mandate oil companies to start drilling to put more oil on the market. In fact, all that President Bush and those supporting Drill Here, Drill Now will do is lift long standing moratoriums that have been placed on offshore drilling and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Once the moratoriums are lifted, oil companies can start acquiring leases that will allow them to drill in areas that have been off limits, but not mandate them to do so. In fact, under our market driven economy, the oil companies can, and likely will, sit on the leases until prices are higher and they can make bigger profits.

People throughout the 5th District have been asking where I stand on Drill Here, Drill Now. My answer is this: I can support drilling domestic oil reserves if it is needed to stabilize the price of oil for consumers in the United States or if conditions around the world would cause a shortage in oil supplies. However, if we are going to make leases available for the oil reserves offshore or in ANWR, the leases must have language to mandate that oil companies actually put the oil on the market for consumers in the United States. I also believe we must address the issue of the 68 million acres oil companies currently have available for domestic drilling but have yet to tap. If we need to Drill Here, Drill Now, then it must be done to benefit the people by providing affordable gas and heating oil not as a way to make larger profits for the oil companies.

However, Drill Here, Drill Now remains a short term solution at best. I still believe the only long term solution is a real national energy policy that will invest in domestically produced alternative fuel solutions.

Sad News Out of Clarion County -- Sealy Closing Strattanville Plant

I was very sorry to read in the Tri-County Sunday that Sealy Corporation has decided to close their plant in Strattanville, Clarion County. The plant, which has been in operation since 1981, will leave 114 workers without jobs when the plant ceases operations in late October. Sadly, this is the hard truth of how the failing national economy can hit close to home. We’ll keep the 114 people affected by the closing of the Sealy plant and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

The Week In Review:

This week we attended fairs in Clinton, Elk, Jefferson (Sykesville), Warren and Venango counties and met with the Sierra Club in State College. We also paid a visit and met with some people at the Centre County HQ on Thursday. Kelly, Amanda and I missed today's Potter / Cameron County Democratic Picnic because the location was changed from the Austin Dam Memorial Park to a location in Coudersport. I had the event on my schedule since May at the original location. We did make a stop in Emporium for lunch.

At the Warren County Fair

At the Venango County 4H Fair

Schedule for the Week:

Monday: McKean County Fair -- 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Wednesday: Emporium / Cameron County -- Attending Hilliard for Senate Event -- 6:00 PM

Thursday: Bud George Day Picnic -- Clearfield County -- 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM

NOTE - Governor Ed Rendell and Auditor General Jack Wagner to attend.

Friday: McCracken for Congress Fundraiser -- DuBois Lions Club Sky Lodge 6 PM

Tickets are available for $20 - Please email

Saturday: Car Show -- Cameron County early afternoon -- McKean County Fair evening.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us. We will continue to travel this district and greet as many people as possible.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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