August 12, 2008

Drill here and drill now

Bob Herbert writes in his NYT op-ed piece this week:

Senator John McCain told cheering bikers at a giant motorcycle rally in South Dakota: “We’re gonna drill offshore! We’re gonna drill here, and we’re gonna drill now!” He told an audience in Lafayette Hill, Pa.: “We have to drill here and drill now. ... Drill here and drill now.”

With Senator McCain and the Republicans painting a false portrait of drilling as a method of relief for today’s high prices, and with polls showing the G.O.P. gaining traction on this issue, Senator Barack Obama has eased off his previous opposition to new offshore leases.

And so dies the possibility of the presidential campaign offering any real clarification of this important issue.

And drilling becomes..

...the latest smoke screen in the presidential election, the bogus contention that lifting restrictions on offshore oil drilling would somehow, in the foreseeable future, bring down the price of gasoline for American motorists.

This absurd contention is now one of the main issues of the campaign. It’s the latest example of a very real fear (that sky-high energy prices will undermine the average family’s standard of living) being exploited shamelessly for political purposes.

Or as John Kerry put it (excerpted again from Herbert's article):
“It’s a completely fraudulent argument. It’s misleading. It’s snake oil salesmanship of the worst order.”
Let me add to that - at the point of repeating myself - the State government's own studies have shown that ANWR oil would have little impact on oil prices and keep the US heavily relying on foreign imports. But I think Jon Stewart had the most appropriate response to McCain's "Drill here and drill now" rhetoric! After all, humor is one of the best ways to deal with stupidity!

P.S. Friedman also has an op-ed piece today in the NYT - Eight strikes and you are out - about McCain and other US politicians big thumbs down for renewable energy. Your campaign ads may some one thing, Mr. McCain...but your actions speak louder than words! Or like Friedman writes: what we require is ..
..a fundamental reshaping by government of the prices and regulations and research-and-development budgets that shape the energy market. Without taxing fossil fuels so they become more expensive and giving subsidies to renewable fuels so they become more competitive — and changing regulations so more people and companies have an interest in energy efficiency — we will not get innovation in clean power at the scale we need.

That is what this election should be focusing on. Everything else is just bogus rhetoric designed by cynical candidates who think Americans are so stupid — so bloody stupid — that if you just show them wind turbines in your Olympics ad they’ll actually think you showed up and voted for such renewable power — when you didn’t.

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