Challenging A Basic Assumption Of The Environmental Wackos

From the WAPO,

Sen. John McCain called yesterday for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, offering an aggressive response to high gasoline prices and immediately drawing the ire of environmental groups that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has courted for months.

The move is aimed at easing voter anger over rising energy prices by freeing states to open vast stretches of the country’s coastline to oil exploration. In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, nearly 80 percent said soaring prices at the pump are causing them financial hardship, the highest in surveys this decade.

“We must embark on a national mission to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil,” McCain told reporters yesterday. In a speech today, he plans to add that “we have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. . . . It is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions.”

McCain’s announcement is a reversal of the position he took in his 2000 presidential campaign and a break with environmental activists, even as he attempts to win the support of independents and moderate Democrats. Since becoming the presumptive GOP nominee in March, McCain has presented himself as a friend of the environment by touting his plans to combat global warming and his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the Everglades.

Representatives of several environmental groups criticized him for backing an idea they said would endanger the nation’s most environmentally sensitive waters.

“It’s disappointing that Senator McCain is clinging to the failed energy policies of the past,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, legislative director for the League of Conservation Voters.

Sierra Club political director Cathy Duvall said McCain “is using the environment as a way to portray himself as being different from George Bush. But the reality is that he isn’t.” The group began running radio commercials yesterday that criticize McCain’s environmental record in the battleground state of Ohio.

This is typically how the issue of drilling is presented: you’re either pro-drilling for oil or pro-environment — and 50 years ago, maybe that was true to a certain extent. But today, with the technology and techniques the oil companies have, it’s no longer true. You can and do have environmentally sensitive drilling.

So, would there be some huge environmental impact if we drilled ANWR or off the coast of Florida and California? Honestly, no, there wouldn’t. The only reason lefties won’t say that is because then they’d have to tell people the truth: they oppose drilling because they’re generally anti-capitalist and also because they think high gas prices are a good thing.

Politically, that kind of honesty costs you elections, so this is just one more thing the libs aren’t going to tell the truth about.

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