The LA Times has a well-argued editorial about the Bush/McCain proposal to destroy America's coastline:
Enter Bush, who on Wednesday said he would end his father's 1990 presidential moratorium on most coastal drilling if Congress would lift its own, separate ban. His reasoning was so contradictory that it's a wonder he could finish his news conference without cracking up. While conceding that the long-term solution to high oil prices is to pursue alternative energy sources, he argued that "in the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil, and that means we need to increase supply." The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that even if oil companies are allowed to tap the 18 billion barrels under coastal waters that are currently off-limits, oil prices wouldn't be expected to fall until 2030. How is that a short-term solution?
Coastal drilling isn't just opposed by a bunch of Prius-driving greenies from Santa Barbara. Existing moratoriums were put in place at the behest of tourism interests, fishermen, small businesses and coastal dwellers. That's because drilling in these waters benefits oil companies but causes direct economic harm to everyone else by trashing beaches, poisoning marine life and ruining views.
One flaw in the editorial, however, is that it refers to Bush and McCain as "oil opportunists." This misses the fact that since David Broder likes his aura it's not possible for McCain to be an opportunist. Maybe if the LAT editorialists moved closer to DC they could see these issues more clearly. Maybe they don't realize in Southern California that McCain is a straight-talker and Broder's the Dean. I mean, this is a paper that doesn't even know that Tim Russert was 21st century America's greatest hero so clearly they can't be trusted.
Photo of oil-smeared grebe by Flickr user Wolfraven used under a Creative Commons license
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