So McCain thinks that drilling off of our coast will help to alleviate our gas problem? How incredibly ridiculous. Of course, this is another of McCain's flip-flops (don't Republicans hate flip flopping?), but it is also a crazy idea. Why? For many reasons:
- We should not, as a nation, damage our coastlines, which oil drilling right off the coast could do. And it will also damage the beauty of our coasts, which support billions of travel and leisure business.
- Selling leases for more offshore drilling will not "be very helpful in the short term resolving our energy crisis" as McCain states. It takes many years to explore, contruct and open oil rigs. Nothing short-term about this at all.
- The oil companies are already sitting on ver 4,000 undeveloped leases in the western Gulf of Mexico. And the government already leases 44 million acres offshore, of which only 10.5 million—or one quarter—are producing oil or gas.
For once, President Bush got something right. In February he acknowledged the country is ‘addicted to oil.’ But you don't cure addiction by increasing the supply of what you are addicted to! You take measures to ween the addicted off of the 'stuff.' For example, better gas mileage standards... stricter enforcement of speed limits... funding sources of alternative energy...
So why is this an issue? Why is the right wing trumpeting this as a talking point? Well, I believe it is because they want to use it as an excuse. The Democrats will oppose it, Congress will not allow it, and if/when gas prices continue to rise, the Repuglicans will say something like "Oh, we had the solution, but the tree hugging Dems wouldn't adopt it. Blame them, blame them..."
Sad... Just sad...