You have to give the Republicans credit: When their corporate bosses give them a “talking point”, they talk about it. The latest one is the “urgent” need to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and all of our offshore waters to oil drilling.
President Bush began the campaign by lifting the presidential “ban” on offshore drilling and challenging Congress to lift the congressional “ban” also. In reality, there is no “ban” on offshore drilling--only a moratorium on the sale of any further offshore drilling permits, because eighty percent of our offshore areas are already open for drilling.
· Over the past 40 years, oil companies have drilled thousands of wells across the western and central gulf, and there are now about 3,800 offshore structures there.”--St. Petersburg Times, 6/20/08
The moratoria began in 1990, after the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The spill fouled 1,300 miles of shoreline, killed hundreds of thousands of birds and marine animals, and destroyed the livelihood of thousands of fishermen. This moratorium remained in effect until George W. Bush rescinded it (July 14, 2008). Fortunately, there is still a congressional moratorium preventing the expansion of drilling into protected areas (at least until Congressional Democrats surrender to the White House--as they usually do).
To pull this off, the Republicans know that they must convince the American people that offshore drilling is environmentally safe and our beaches will not end up like the shores of Prince William Sound. To accomplish this, they will do what they usually do--LIE!
· “When we had Katrina and Rita, the two worst hurricanes in--at least in recent memory, in ‘05, some three years ago, there was not one case where we had a situation with oil or gas being spilled in the environment.”--Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman
· “[T]hat’s one of the great unwritten success stories, after Katrina and Rita, these awful storms, no major spills.”--Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), Fox News, 6/27/08
…and for sissies who do not even want a single drop of oil spilled on their beaches, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this: