John McCain Changes Mind On Offshore Oil, Say's DRILL!!, Considering Taking Another Look At ANWR!
Energy Policy: While Democrats want to continue to outsource our energy supplies to the likes of Hugo Chavez, John McCain wants to repeal the federal ban on offshore drilling. The energy tide is turning.
McCain has rightly called rising energy costs due in large part to restricted domestic supply a national security issue. On Monday, he previewed a Tuesday speech in Houston and said that as commander in chief he would end the federal ban on offshore drilling first enacted in 1981 and continued by every president since.
We "must embark on a national mission to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil," he said. "But a federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. . . . It is time for the federal government to lift those restrictions."
Indeed, a Manhattan Project on domestic energy is long overdue.
Democrats say that increasing domestic production will take years and won't have that much of an effect on prices. Yet when the Saudis agreed last Friday to increase their production by a meager 500,000 barrels a day, oil prices fell on the New York Mercantile Exchange by $1.88 cents a barrel. Imagine the impact of opening up the Outer Continental Shelf.
The OCS holds an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil and 635 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. If this and other domestic sources are developed, U.S. reserves would increase by a factor of five, and we'd jump from 11th place to 4th in the world in the size of our proven reserves — enough to make OPEC and speculators blink.
In his speech, McCain had harsh words for speculators who drive prices higher by betting they will go higher still. The way to deal with what McCain calls "reckless wagering unrelated to any kind of productive commerce" is not through legislation, as the Democrats want, but through offshore drilling, as he wants. Increasing supply reduces prices.
Barack Obama doesn't like the idea, saying through a spokesman that "John McCain's plan to simply drill our way out of the energy crisis is the same misguided approach backed by President Bush that has failed our families for too long and only serves to benefit the big oil companies."
Obama's approach is to tax our way out of the energy crisis by targeting oil companies' "windfall" profits. But that will only increase what we pay for gasoline at the pump. Obama says he's for "change." Lifting the offshore ban is the change we need.
"Our dependence on foreign oil strains family budgets, and it saps our economy," Obama said in Flint, Mich., on Monday. Yet he wants to leave American oil in the ground and in coastal waters while sending half a trillion dollars overseas to foreign dictators, some of whom use it to support America-hating terrorists.
Who knows? Some of these petrodollars may even be used to prop up energy prices in the futures market, putting further strains on a U.S. economy that our enemies wouldn't mind seeing "sapped."
The one problem we have with McCain's proposal is that while lifting the federal ban, he'd still let the states decide. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist had opposed offshore oil development even while China and Cuba planned to drill off his coast.
But on Tuesday, Crist said he now supports exploratory drilling because "Floridians are suffering." We commend the governor for selflessly bowing to economic reality and his courage in touching what has been considered a "third rail" of political issues to be avoided by coastal governors.
As for other states with offshore resources, maybe letting them share in the revenues (as McCain has suggested) will change minds. But federalism and national security usually don't mix.
Environmentalists are aghast at all this. But Brazil, Britain, Norway and other countries drill safely offshore, and no major spills were recorded when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita roared through some 3,000 offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Energy is a national security issue, one that should be discussed in this campaign. A clear majority of Americans now say they want to drill here and drill now. John McCain has caught a wave, one he may ride all the way to the White House.
You know Barack Hussein Obama this Country can walk and chew gum at the same time. Just because 74% of the American Public say's DRILL NOW, doesnt mean the oil companies and private groups cant find alternative energy sources at the same time! But we MUST start somewhere, and letting this go on and on isnt helping the American people. We have resourses here in our own backyard and we must drill for AMERICAN oil. Windfall profit taxes on the big oil company's will only hurt consumers at the pump. Which proves yet again that you are completely clueless when it comes to matters of this Country, the Economy, and National Security and Defense. On this issue OBAMA, YOU LOSE!! And so does the Democrat controlled Congress, and in the long run with your totally stupid ideas about tax, tax, tax it's going to hurt the American consumer and this Country.
IT'S THE OIL STUPID!
Senator McCain I must commend you for changing your mind on offshore drilling. And I do believe you will come around to the idea of drilling in ANWR! Great change of heart :-) You are listening to the Conservatives and the American people and I am proud of you for that!