North Carolina Coast Threatened by McCain's New, Pro Off Shore Drilling Position

Currently, the waters off of North Carolina's coastline are protected from off shore drilling by a Federal Moratorium:

The waters became fully protected by the moratorium in the fall of 2000 when Conoco gave up the last of the leases for exploration in the Manteo Exploration Unit, a group of federally leased blocks of submerged land lying about 45 miles off Cape Hatteras. Conoco had owned five leases for the submerged lands in the unit, and shared three others with Shell and Occidental Petroleum Corp. Chevron, Mobil and Marathon gave up or sold their leases earlier in 2000. None of the companies ever undertook exploration in the area.

But if McCain has his way in lifting the federal moratorium, our shores could be at risk for castrophic oil spills, releases of mercury and other toxic substances that are side effects of off shore drilling.

Numerous North Carolinian Republicans, including Senator Dole, have long been pushing for off shore drilling despite the high environmental costs. Today, McCain joined them in their call to further ravage the environment to the benefit of big oil profits, rather than focusing on developing alternative energy sources.

Selling out to Big Oil, John "Exxon" McCain has flip flopped on his support of a moratorium on offshore drilling. In a major speech today, McCain will announce his support for off shore drilling.

Senator Obama has hit back quickly:

"John McCain's support of the moratorium on offshore drilling during his first presidential campaign was certainly laudable, but his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades," he said in a statement.

McCain, who is scrapping for cash, has wrapped a number of fundraisers in Texas with GOP elite around today's speech:

McCain Heads To Texas To Sell His Soul To Big Oil

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is heading to Texas today for a series of fundraisers with the Texas GOP elite in Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. Wedged between the multiple money events will be a speech in Houston, which McCain has indicated will be on energy policy. Today, McCain told reporters that he will call for:

– Lifting the federal moratorium on off-shore drilling established by President George H.W. Bush,

– Providing incentives to states to commence off-shore drilling, and

– Suspending the gas tax.

This suite of proposals adds up to a big fat kiss to Big Oil and its conservative allies — at the expense of everyone else. Unrestrained fossil fuel use delivers obscene profits for Big Oil but is a threat to the planet. McCain’s strong talk on global warming is proving unserious — much as candidate Bush’s campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide in 2000 turned out to be false. At the very same press briefing, McCain backtracked from his vaunted mandatory system to reduce greenhouse gases.

As gas prices continue to rise, McCain's "solution" is go the George W. Bush route and get in bed with the big oil companies:

BraveNewFilms: Big Oil Fuels the Straight Talk Express

Much like the gas tax relief gimmick, as Friends of the Earth noted, "more drilling is not the answer." It's yet another political gimmick that would only lower prices by about 2 cents per gallon...ten years down the road:

McCain gimmick is not solution to energy crisis; focus must be on affordable alternatives

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder had the following statement in response to John McCain’s plan to announce an off-shore drilling proposal tomorrow:

“If John McCain were looking for a way to prove he’s running for George Bush’s third term, he couldn’t do better than this. Maybe we should start calling him ‘Exxon John.’

“More drilling is not the answer to our energy crisis. Fortunately, Barack Obama is focusing on real solutions that are good for the planet and will ease pain at the pump. Obama is talking about fuel-efficient cars, expanded passenger rail, mass transit, and other clean ways of reducing demand for oil that can lighten the burden on Americans’ pocketbooks immediately. That’s the type of leadership we need.”

As leading environmentalist, Al Gore, stated yesterday during his endorsement of Obama, "We need change."

"Americans simply cannot afford to continue the policies of the last eight years for another four."

Gore Endorses Obama: We Need Change (Full Remarks 1 of 2)

Gore Endorses Obama (Full Remarks 2 0f 2)

Obama's Energy plan focuses on sustainable, long term solutions. He oppposed the gas tax gimmick, offshore drilling and has proposed investing $150 billion over 10 years in Clean Energy:

Invest in a Clean Energy Future

Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy: Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid. A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe

Obama has rejected federal lobbyist dontions from big corporations.

McCain, continues to engage in the "same Washington politics," accepting federal lobbyist donations, the same donors that fueled George W. Bush's Presidency.

McCain has received millions in donations from the same oil, coal, nuclear, chemical, utility, and auto companies that helped the Bush administration create its energy planѡ plan that has raised gasoline to $4 a gallon.

Americans cannot afford four more years.


League of Conservation Scorecard for NC Reps and Senators

Senator State 110th, 1st session Score

Richard Burr (REP) NC 7%
Elizabeth Dole (REP) NC 7%


Representative District 110th, 1st session Score
G.K. Butterfield (DEM) NC-1 70%
Howard Coble (REP) NC-6 5%
Bob Etheridge (DEM) NC-2 85%
Virginia Foxx (REP) NC-5 10%
Robin Hayes (REP) NC-8 15%
Walter Jones (REP) NC-3 40%
Patrick McHenry (REP) NC-10 0%
Mike McIntyre (DEM) NC-7 75%
Brad Miller (DEM) NC-13 90%
Sue Myrick (REP) NC-9 10%
David Price (DEM) NC-4 95%
Heath Shuler (DEM) NC-11 75%
Melvin Watt (DEM) NC-12 95%

'Nuf said!

NCDem Amy on YouTube

This is their new talking point.

I heard Jim Cramer (Kramer?) going off on Morning Joe yesterday about this.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


And on Fox news today, a commentator was shilling for big oil corps and trashing Obama for his windfall tax on oil companies saying that 'it's no wonder companies are taking more jobs overseas...'

Truly sickening.

And, no, I don't watch Fox news, just happened upon a video of this segment.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

Do we really think it is a coincidence that....

McCain, Cramer, and Fox News all come out shilling for offshore drilling?

We need to remember that the Republicans will be on-message and together in November.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Good point

It certainly is no coincidence but a well coordinated propoganda effort.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

I have an idea

A little kid is playing in the sand on a NC beach. The kid is in the foreground and her parents are sitting on towels in the background watching her play.

The camera slowly rolls past her until we eventually see that her parents aren't watching her at all. They're staring beyond her, at something off shore.

The next shot is a long wide stationary shot of this milieu in reverse. We're seeing a huge expanse of the ocean horizon and as far as the eye can see, oil rigs.

Title fades in: John McCain's Energy Policy

Title fades in: Summer, 2010

How about showing a mother

cleaning the face of her oil-soaked little boy and having this conversation:

"I think that's enough for today, honey."

"Awww, mom. I just figured out how to slide real far on my tummy."

"You know what the doctor said about too much benzene."

"Stupid doctor."

"Watch it, mister. You keep that up and we won't come back tomorrow."

Nice image but

At 45 miles, all the oil rigs would be over the horizon.

This is a great post Amy and a message that needs

more sunlight. The r's cornered the market on propaganda speech and talking points for a while and we need to continue to call them on it. They twist the truth and cherry pick the facts just enough to make it sound real. It's just sickening to see these people manipulate the masses for their own benefit. I'm ready for a grownup to take the lead and do whats right for the all the people and the environment.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Good point

Let's hope it does. I haven't seen polling on where a majority of North Carolinians (or specifically SE NCers) stand on this.

In FL, where Gov Crist was opposed to offshore drilling, opinions are shifting to favor it with supposedly, now a majority in favor of offshore drilling. Crist of course, in step with McCain, has back peddled on his position now too.

Consequently, this move by McCain, may help him in the important swing state of FL.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

Did anyone see the Rasmussen poll?

The latest poll showed that 70% of North Carolinians favored drilling off North Carolina's Outer Banks. I just don't see it. Nobody I know favors it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


I had not seen that. How sad, if it's true.

I wonder if folks are confused in thinking that offshore drilling will lead to immediate lower gas prices at the pump, which of course is just not the case.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

I don't think those numbers are correct

If so I think the poll was taken right as gas was hitting close to $4.00/gallon. It's the shock. Hopefully it will wear off. I'll try to find it and link to it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It's the Shock and Awe, people, keep an eye on them.

Remember what Naomi Klein told us, they will try to push through all kinds of policy that will benefit the oil companies at the peril of the citizen while we are in trauma.

Why haven't the oil companies drilled on land that has already been leased to them? Why haven't they built any refineries in the memorable past? Why should we trust BushCo with anything ever again?

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina


That little dot

should be even smaller, but I thought you needed to be able to see it.

Great graphic

It illustrates well the insanity of it all. Trashing our beaches for such a little pay off.

NCDem Amy on YouTube


I am a PowerPoint whiz, if nothing else.

Come to Carolina for the Coastal View


(edit for clarity)BTW, how odd that the same people who want this are dead set against seeing wind turbines placed miles offshore.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

wind turbines wouldn't be as bad

I don't know if its possible but maybe wind turbines far enough off the coast so they can't be seen? And plus you gotta admit even if the wind turbines were implemented they would be far less environmentally and aesthetically invasive as those gigantore (yes i made that word up) oil rigs.

Fa Sho, Do It To It

This picture needs to be emailed around to every

voter in every state that has a coastline. Match that pic with a list of negatives from offshore drilling (oil spills, heavy metal laden sludge, ruining habitat) and this issue could sink McCain, especially in Florida.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

You need to show an oil spill - Bush-McCain will do it

Tar shows up regularly in southern California. Oil spills are much more infrequent, but Santa Barbara had a terrible spill.

Bush-McCain energy policy is to leave no coastline unoiled.

This policy could tip the election here if we push it hard enough and it sure could destroy McCain in Florida.

great possibility bring great responsibility

Honestly, I do think this would be a good temporary step towards energy independence, as long as we really bust our brains during the time we're drilling domestically to find cost efficient, clean, and renewable energy. But this could be a double edged sword because if we have relatively cheap gas again it could hinder our research on those alternative energy sources. Because this never bothered anybody before their wallets started hurting. This article called The Oil “Melt-Up” and Why the U.S. Economy Won’t Run On Windmills Alone... explains why it is necessary to continue the use of oil instead of jumping straight on the alternative energy band wagon. I hope this comes into play when thinking about candidates. And while I'm 90% sure I'm voting for Obama, these issues need to be addressed. I want to know HOW we are going to switch to alternatives, not just WE WILL. Because this is an intricate problem that won't fix itself after a little red tape it removed. And although this sucks for NC, as a country on a whole this could really help everybody out as we make this transition. And yes, it has a lot of reprehensible byproducts of doing this but if oil prices continue to rise our whole country is going to have a lot of true difficulty, not just "OH Man! After I filled up my SUV I can't afford to go out to dinner now!" I'm talking about "I don't have money to fill up my car and get groceries this week." This is going to wreck the lower class and really hinder the middle class if we don't act now.

Fa Sho, Do It To It

Something I've been thinking about lately.


For instance, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices were $66 in 2006. And, the oil companies were making profits. So, let's say that all oil brought up for domestic sources is sold at no more than $100/barrel no matter what. AND, that $20/barrel has to go to fund alternative energy production. Not research, but production.

Same with nuclear. I keep wanting to write a story on my opinion about nuclear, which is that it makes sense in the short-term if we address it properly. But, only if it is one wedge in a 10 or 12 wedge pie. Republicans want it to be one of three wedges along with more oil exploration and slightly more efficient cars.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

From all of my reading

there is absolutely nothing the US can do in the near-term future (less than ten years) in oil exploration and production that will alter the price of gasoline more than a penny or two. Nothing. Drilling off the coast of North Carolina could potentially bring new supplies ten years from now, but that would do nothing to lower the price of oil whatsoever. It is less than a drop in the bucket, and it would not extend our current pattern of consumption even a year. ANWR is the same. The amounts of oil available are literally inconsequential. While the costs to the environment could potentially be catastrophic.

We are raping mountains in Appalachia everyday in pursuit of cheap coal. These mountains have stood for hundreds of millions of years. Let's say we get another decade of coal from them through aggressive mountaintop removal. Is that a price worth paying?


That is a good point.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

You are confused. There's not much oil here.

If the NC coast had lots of oil, big oil would have drilled for it long before the offshore drilling moratorium began. There may be enough oil here to make a mess of the environment if there's a spill, but there isn't enough oil to increase our supply significantly.

Conservation works much faster and is far more effective.

Paul, it's about percentile reductions,

not a total shift to (nothing but) renewable/alternative energy sources.

We (average Americans) consume a much higher amount of resources than our counterparts in other countries. Granted, part of this is due to our level of industrialization and technology. But we've never really been that interested in either conservation or efficiency.

So we consume/waste an ungodly amount of potable water, we choose to purchase and operate vehicles that are only half as fuel-efficient as others on the market, we only pay attention to the kilowatt hours we use if our monthly utility bill happens to spike at the wrong time, etc.

This is why efficiency is such an important part of the solution: if we can substantially reduce our usage while dedicating new construction solely for renewable sources, we'll get to the place we need to be without "catastrophic" change.

Make no mistake--business as usual will lead to catastrophe, and spending billions while mucking up the environment, just to add (maybe) one more percent to world oil production, is business as usual.

Perdue weighs in on off-shore drilling

Via email

Perdue Statement on Offshore Oil Drilling

"I am 100% opposed to oil drilling off the coast of North Carolina. President Bush has cozied up to the oil companies with tax breaks and all they have given us is $4 dollar a gallon gas, while our focus should be on developing green energy alternatives to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Offshore drilling would take years to provide any benefit, while just one hurricane or Exxon Valdez incident could destroy North Carolina's coastline forever along with the economy that depends on it," said Bev Perdue, candidate for Governor.

Mr. McCrory?