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:
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:
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 $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.