Las Vegas Sun

March 2, 2015

Currently: 61° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Add attack dog, energy maven to Reid’s titles

Senator assails GOP policies, citing ‘toxic mix of oil and war’


Leila Navidi

The Nevada delegation cheers Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who castigated Republicans for their emphasis on offshore drilling.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seemed to establish a new role for himself Wednesday night — party attack man on Republican energy policy.

Reid: Offshore drilling is 'pure baloney'

Sun Topics

Fresh from his energy summit in Las Vegas, which got a nod in his prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention, Reid even sounded a little like a Cabinet energy secretary.

Rather than lift the crowd with the optimism that has soared through the hall in Denver, Reid played history teacher, lecturing that “the last hundred years has been a toxic mix of oil and war” and warning of the “snake oil and quackery” peddled by Republicans to solve the nation’s energy crisis.

He offered this critically folksy portrait of the Bush administration’s energy legacy:

“The man in the Oval Office has tipped his hat over his eyes, kicked back his chair and snoozed at his desk,” Reid said. “Charged with protecting our national interests, he slept on duty while his vice president conspired with oil industry cronies.”

Democrats are trying to assert themselves on energy policy after Republicans gained ground this summer in their pursuit of offshore drilling. Polls show most voters support drilling in the ocean, and Republicans have criticized Democrats for being reluctant to allow an up or down vote on a policy some seriously oppose.

Reid reminded his audience that drilling alone won’t quench the nation’s thirst for oil, saying Republicans have “sold their magic beans with a promise of a giant beanstalk.”

Energy is a prime issue in the West, which is trying to lead the nation toward renewable energy development, making Reid an apt spokesman.

In fact, Nevada seemed to offer itself as the go-to state when it comes to energy policy. The state is home to vast renewable resources and is ground zero in the nation’s fight over nuclear expansion with the proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.

When Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley cast the state’s votes for Sen. Barack Obama as the party’s nominee, she said Obama has a vision for the West in developing renewable energy and keeping nuclear waste out of Yucca Mountain.

Still, Reid’s was a tough act, coming after the historic roll call nomination and before former President Clinton brought the crowd to its feet.

The audience kept quiet until the Nevada delegation interrupted with just one cheer, waving a single, homemade “I (heart) Harry” sign.

Reid confided to Nevada reporters backstage that he was nervous. But he said he thought he’d delivered his message well — “that John McCain is trying to sell snake oil, quackery, and I made it pretty clear.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.