I can’t think of a less popular Republican favorite issue than offshore oil drilling. It’s about as dear to the American electorate as, oh, say, getting nipple-rings. There’s a reason why repeated attempts to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling have failed. Americans just don’t want it.
Which must be why George Bush thinks it’s such a nifty idea. He just seems to have a knack for this sort of hopelessly out of touch political gesture. Instead of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, promoting energy conservation, and alternative energy and vehicles, all of which would actually make a dent in the problem of high fuel prices, he resorts to the irrelevant.
All of which makes today’s Gail Collins column hilarious:
In a major change of policy, the president announced that he wanted to end a federal ban on offshore drilling and open up drillers’ access to the outer continental shelf [O.C.S.].
…The O.C.S. was only one part of a four-point recipe for producing tons and tons of American-bred gasoline in the future. Bush wants to search for oil offshore, out West, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the basement, beneath the Washington Monument — you name it, he’s ready to drill.
This would require a great deal of excruciatingly controversial legislation, all of which he demanded the Democrats in Congress pass before the Fourth of July recess.
Otherwise, everything is their fault.
…It was sort of mesmerizing. Imagine some half-forgotten celebrity popping up out of nowhere and announcing that he wants an Academy Award. By Tuesday. And if he doesn’t get it, he cannot be responsible for the consequences.
You know how foreign leaders are sometimes addressed as “Your Excellency?” Well, George can now be addressed as “Your Irrelevancy.”
Does W still have access to the nuclear launch codes?
Please somebody look into this.
Thats not entirely true. As of now people in Alaska are begging congress for the opportunity to drill in ANWAR. The same goes for the rest of the states. The only people who are putting a stop to it is the Democrats. There’s a bill going to committees now which purpose is to open the shelf to drilling. People want this, the US needs this. Its high time for this nation to stop depending on foreign factors for our energy resources.
This can become a bind for Democrats because if do anything to kill this bill, there will be a lot of angry Americans who will want to know why this congress is preventing oil drilling when we need it the most.
Richard Silverstein says
@Foxx: Alaska is a whole other kettle of fish. I see you’re fr. Alaska. Perhaps even connected in some way to the oil industry?? Might you be a little self-interested in this matter?
I’m talking about the majority of Americans, who strongly oppose such cock-eyed measures. And thank God for the Dems standing up to the oil mob that calls itself the Republican caucus. If it was really true that there would be a significant number of “angry Americans” who weren’t Exxon corporate executives clamoring for oil drilling, the Dems wouldn’t take such a strong stance on this. But unlike you, they’ve actually done polling & know they’re on solid ground. That’s why there’ll be even more Dems in Congress come Nov.
Drilling in ANWAR won’t make even the tiniest dent in our oil dependency on foreign sources.
After the Arab oil embargo of 1973-1974, you’d think that someone in the U.S. government would have woken up and realized, “Y’know, maybe it’s time to wean ourselves away from fossil fuels” – that was 35 years ago, folks. The sooner that America can make the transition from a carbon-based fuel infrastructure to a hydrogen-based fuel infrastructure, the better off it’s going to be. ANWAR drilling should be recognized for what it is: a procrastinative measure.