Thursday, June 19, 2008

McCain/Bush team up for offshore drilling

Speech writers for McCain and Bush are obviously pulling double duty.

The "maverick" John Sidney McCain III is sounding more and more like George Bush every single day. There is zero originality between their messages.

After several days of the Republicans rallying around this false concept that we have all the oil we'll ever need lying just offshore and all we have to do is stick a straw in it to start drinking, some facts are clouding their fantasy.

The problem is, this milkshake isn't all that simple to drink.

First of all, this is a very long term goal that does absolutely nothing to solve our present energy problem. And the amount of oil out there is completely unknown and might prove to be much too expensive to extract. Let's not forget the likely environmental issues involved with extensive ocean drilling. And the fact that oil platforms are preferred targets for terrorists and militants; see what happened off of Nigeria today.

Oh, and there aren't any ships available to do the deep water drilling for at least five to ten years.

So this Republican "magic bullet" won't do a single thing for our rapidly worsening energy situation.

At least, not until President Richardson is sworn in after Obama's two terms are done.

What we need right now is a broad spectrum approach to energy, with conservation and efficiency being the first steps. We need to adequately fund research on alternative energy sources. We need to create incentives for auto manufacturers to improve their vehicle's fuel economy. We need to change the way we think about energy.

Think of where we'd be today if the strides we made in the late 1970's towards energy independence weren't reversed by successive Republican presidents.


oldswede said...

This "more drilling" scam is a two-fer for the Repus. It's a Rovian club to pound the Democrats with and a farewell gift from a grateful Bush and Cheney to their sponsors, big oil.
Check out the Congressional Democrats' effort to expose big oil's treachery: there are tens of millions acres of federal land leased to the big players that are sitting idle, unexploited. There has been no drilling done. This current hoopla is a means to let the oil patch bank even more leases in areas that should be off-limits. This is probably their last chance, barring a McCain victory. Once Bushco is gone, the frantic clearance sale of federal lands, intended to be held in trust for future generations, to private exploiters will end.
Support the "use it or lose it" effort in Congress.

Bob Symmes said...

To be precise, american oil companies have 68,000,000 acres of unused drilling lands...that's, at 106,250 square miles, larger than the entire state of Colorado, almost two-thirds of the area in California.

Also bear in mind that most of the Alaska Pipeline oil does NOT end up in the US.

We could wait until the second Ron Paul administration; and still more drilling won't alleviate this crisis.

Only conservation & alternative sources hold any promise: long OR short-term.

Adam J. Schmidt said...

Hold on - what's the harm in opening up more locations domestically for oil exploration at least? As you point out we aren't entirely sure how much is there because exploration hasn't been done in some cases since the 1960's. What not authorize a 'Lewis & Clark' type exploration - send some folks out and have them report back as to what we've got. Then we can have a debate based on solid facts instead of conjecture.

As for the issue of there being environmental concerns from offshore drilling I'd like to know specifically what they are. The British seem to have been quite successful in the North Sea and Hurricane Katrina knocked out a bunch of rigs in the Western Gulf without any environmental damage that I'm aware of. Seems more like a scare tactic than a legitimate argument...

CT Bob said...

Adam, it seems that the oil companies and their sponsors (the Bush-Cheney cabal) are using this "crisis" to try to ram through legislation to open up additional areas for possible drilling for future use.

At most, this is a long term band aid, whereas we need immediate, dramatic solutions to our energy problems. Why not ask those questions of your Republican heroes, rather than holding the party line uncritically?

Why not think for yourself, instead of swallowing your spoon-fed talking points from Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News?

Do you honestly think that the clamor for additional exploration is nothing more than an election year tactic and a long-term profit vehicle for some huge oil corporations that will give you nothing in return? How about a little critical thinking, you know, using your mind?

Bob Symmes said...

Adam -- Do you think the oil moved since the 1960's?

And in any case, do you think we're (or more practically speaking, the oil companies) will magically find enough to solve this problem for us?

Face facts: we're running out of petroleum. PERIOD. Say goodnight, Gracie.

And if you think "exploring" for more oil will even slow down this immutable fact, I suggest you're a perfect candidate to continue looking for Iraqi WMD's.

Adam J. Schmidt said...

"Do you think the oil moved since the 1960's?" Well, no that would be a rather silly thing to believe. There's undoubtedly oil off our shores and out west in the form of shale etc... The issue is that we haven't "explored" for oil in many of these places since the 1960's so our estimates are based on those efforts made with outdated technology.

Has cancer changed since the 1960's? I'd think not. But I have a feeling you'd want to be diagnosed with the most recent technology, not what they were using back in the 1960's.

On another issue, if we're running out of petroleum as you say, and you want us to get off the stuff, wouldn't you want to encourage more drilling so we'll use it up faster? Then we'll have to switch over to alternatives sooner.