Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why McCain wants drilling

We all know why George Bush wants to drill for oil off the US coast: It would mean more profits for his buddies. After all, the Bush-Cheney regime is filled top to bottom with people with ties to the oil and gas industry, most notoriously Dick "Halliburton" Cheney and Condi "Chevron" Rice.

John McCain, again marching in lock-step with the Bush-Cheney regime, has flip-flopped on offshore drilling and endorsed it. Why? Because it turns out that, just like the Bush-Cheney regime, he's in the back pocket of the oil and gas industry.

McCain has received over US$1 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. This video reveals McCain's closest advisers who have close lobbying ties to the same industry.

Let's be honest here—something that Bush-Cheney-McCain cannot be: We cannot drill our way out of these high pump prices. If the permits that Bush-Cheney-McCain want were granted today, it could be a decade before it reached the petrol pumps of America. Clearly that's of no help now.

And, anyway, if this is such a great idea, why didn't the Republicans do this when they controlled Congress? They didn't do it because it's a colossally bad idea.

Instead, the US desperately needs research toward energy independence. That will require federal involvement, as Barack Obama has proposed. McCain, like Bush-Cheney, wants to leave it to the states and to "the market". Yeah, and that's worked out so well already.

But McCain doesn’t just want to drill off the US coast; he wants to build 45 new nuclear reactors—what decade is this guy in again? If McCain doesn’t understand the realities of the 21st Century, or is unwilling to address them, then he needs to get out of the way of those who do, no matter what his buddies want.

Thanks to a friend for posting the video.


d said...

I agree - it's all rhetoric. Even if drilling began today (well, first there would have to be exploration, then a permit process, etc etc) oil still would have to be refined. We don't even know what kind of oil is there (sweet, sour), and wouldn't know until the wells are drilled.

The only thing that will help the crisis now is cutting back on petrol use and consumption of throw-away products (including those handy cleaning wipes, disposable diapers etc).

In the end, we will run out of oil. Why wait to learn how to live without it?

Jason in DC said...

This is the same argument that's been going on in the US for 25 years. Nobody wants to do a damn thing.

Drilling probably has to occur but that's a solution way down the road.

There is so much that we could do right now if we just had some leadership.

Here are some ideas:

Have people switch out their light bulbs.

Have people raise their thermostats two degrees in summer and lower them two degrees in winter.

Have people get a blanket for their hot water heaters.

Give real tax credits for people who buy hybrids and high efficiency cars.

Those are just a few. We can make a difference. We just need to start.

Arthur Schenck said...

Dawn: I agree with you--conservation is vital, and I should have mentioned it in my post. Conservation is the easiest, cheapest thing that can be done right now.

I also think that steps will have to be made to regulate packaging. The US is notorious for its excess packaging, but we have our own problems with that here, too.

Jason: I disagree that offshore drilling has to occur, particularly if we start taking action now to make that unneeded.

The lightbulb change will happen as the manufacture of old style bulbs ends (they will be illegal in New Zealand and Australia soon, the US will take a bit longer).

The thermostat issue is a bit more complicated. When energy becomes expensive, people often make their homes colder than WHO minimum guidelines, which has health implications. Hot water heater blankets for cylinder style heaters are definitely a good idea, but we have gas continuous flow hot water--no tank. Upgrading insulation in homes would also help, as would encouraging solar hot water heaters, where climate allows.

However, these things will often affect electricity use, which may be generated by non-petroleum generators (coal, natural gas, hydro, even nuclear). Which is not to say they're unimportant, just that we need to do more to reduce petroleum use.

Tax credits for more fuel-efficient cars is a good idea. Some places give cheaper parking rates or lower taxes for highly fuel-efficient cars. This is also good. But what about raising minimum fuel efficiency standards for ALL cars and trucks? Detroit whines that it's impossible, ignoring that Japan has already way surpassed even the weak standards that were recently mooted in the US (until Bush-Cheney killed them).

And, as I said before, promoting conservation (including keeping cars fully tuned) is an easy, cheap and achievable thing that can be done NOW, why the politicians argue among themselves about how much the oil and gas industry should be enriched through government policy.