The House introduced new energy legislation late last night. Finally…right? The House also wants to bring the 290-page bill, which can be found here, to the floor today. You think the 435 Members in the House of Representatives are going to meticulously read all 290 pages? A bill that makes fundamental changes to thousands of pages of earlier energy bills as well as the tax code. Please.

This isn’t Harry Potter. You can’t just cruise through something as complex as energy policy in one short night. It’s true that Congress should craft an energy policy as expeditiously as possible to lower the costs of energy, but don’t you think there’s a reason that House Democrats are rushing the process?

We can’t be that hasty. Just because the bill mentions drilling doesn’t mean it’s a good bill. The “compromise” bill would set a permanent ban on drilling within 50 miles of the coast while allowing states to decide whether they want to drill or not between 50 and 100 miles. But thanks to the Institute for Energy Research, let’s check out where the oil actually is. The bill would:

• Permanently ban access to 97% of the 10.5 billion barrels off the California coast. Then, California gets to decide whether to produce just 3% of its resources.

• Continue the ban on the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, an area with an estimated 3.65 barrels of oil and 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

• Institute a first-ever 50 mile ban off the coast of Alaska.

Check out these charts from IER; they illustrate the point nicely. And don’t forget, this is on top of new tax credits and government subsidies for unproven and unsuccessful renewable energy sources.

We’re just about two weeks away from celebrating Energy Freedom Day, where the Congressional moratorium on offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf would expire – giving us access to 18 or 19 billion barrels of oil. Pelosi’s bill would give us access to 4 billion while placing almost all of the rest permanently off limits.

Maybe the Members should stick with reading Harry Potter; at least that’s something worth reading.