Slippery Talking Points on Oil

At the same time that ads started running in Wisconsin trying to paint U.S. Senator John McCain as an environmentalist, he was busy demonstrating that nothing could be further from the truth. The ad attempts to distinguish him from Bush on environmental issues. Actually he undermined that argument himself while on a fundraising tour through oil country. He announced that he was suddenly in favor of giving big oil a free pass to start drilling all along our coast. Right around the same time perpetual candidate for Congress, John Gard, started spouting all of the same talking points including promoting some that flatly inaccurate.

In a recent column, the Sierra Club educates John McCain not only on trying to drill our way out of our oil addiction, but they also remind him of his previous statements on the subject. John Gard would do well to take the same schooling on the issue and make the relevant facts a part of his often advertised ‘€œtown hall’€ events.

The column shows that although John McCain advocated for opening the rest of the country’€™s coasts to oil drilling, only two weeks before he was singing a different tune. At that time he repeated his opposition to such a plan saying that it would take ‘€œyears to develop’€ and that ‘€œit would only postpone or temporarily relieve our dependency on fossil fuels.’€ Perhaps McCain was hoping that no one was paying attention to the fact that he just dramatically and suddenly changed his position at a time that he was also raising campaign cash from big oil execs.

The Sierra Club then goes on to point out the actual facts of trying to drill our way out of our energy crisis. John McCain’€™s latest change of heart on offshore drilling ‘€œwould not benefit consumers until 2030 and only marginally.’€ The column goes on to state that plans similar to John Gard’€™s regarding drilling up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not bring one single drop of fuel until 2018. Further it would take an additional decade to reach peak production. Even at that time it would only lower the price at the pump by some three cents. The McCain-Bush-Gard talking points also fails to note the fact that big oil already has access to some 80 percent of the oil that exists offshore.

Apparently Big Oil will not rest until they have locked up 100 percent, grabbing as much public land as possible in the process. The Sierra Club column also points out that our current energy crisis has cost the country a half of a trillion dollars. Someone should tell McCain-Bush-Gard that doing more of the same only serves to increase the profits of Big Oil but will do nothing to ease the burden on consumers. On the other hand, maybe that is the entire point of their argument.

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