No Green Elephant: McCain Calls on Congress to Lift Offshore Drilling Ban

Thumbs up for oil companies everywhere.

In an address on Tuesday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee offered his solution to the high prices of oil and gasoline: more drilling! While certainly not a new idea amongst his GOP peers, McCain’s proposal for more offshore drilling raises serious concerns, as it is coming from one of two men who will be the next President of the United States. What it suggests is that McCain’s interests lie more in temporarily patching (while simultaneously worsening) the US’s fossil-fuel crisis. These temporary fixes to the many issues that face the US and its economy are common during election year, but McCain has to realize that his actions, were Congress to follow his lead, would only stop the United States from seeking out permanent solutions in the form of alternative energy. 

So what is McCain’s answer to the call for alternative fuels? 

He says Americans struggling to pay $4 for a gallon of gasoline cannot afford to wait for those “far off plans of futurists and politicians.”

We severely disagree with Senator McCain as to how “far off” these energy sources are (apparently far off is when something is currently being put to use?). His proposed short-term fix is more drilling now off the coasts of Florida, California and elsewhere. “We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States,” he said. “But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it’s time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use.”

In another shocking turn that truly had to be for the benefit of his Houston, TX crowd, McCain mentioned that “We also need to be looking at the Alaska areas as well.” (Collective jaw-drop, anyone?) McCain previously opposed drilling in both Alaska and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, policies that his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, has remained firm on. 

Independent energy analyst Phillip Verleger commented on the McCain proposals, agreeing with other economists by saying the best way to address high gas prices is through conservation and improved efficiency.

“We’re only going to get out of this problem by using less,” he said.

While he has not completely dismissed putting efforts into renewable energy immediately, McCain continues to push his plan for new oil, while still urging Congress to lift the federal gas tax, another temporary and potentially harmful band-aid on the US’s traumatic head-wound of an environmental and economic crisis. 

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