The same wrecking crew that sent the United States to war in Iraq now wants to solve the energy crisis by drilling for oil off our coasts. First it was non-existent weapons of mass destruction to subjugate Saddam, now it is offshore drilling to solve the oil crisis: I think we have a new motto for the fall election.
Vote Republican, pay forever.
It is a cynical diversion to focus legislative attention on the unpopular gamble of drilling for offshore oil; as poor a gamble as justifying a bid to secure energy supplies on false pretenses in Iraq.
What it will do is drive campaign contributions from big energy and engineering firms into an anemic campaign account for John McCain who cannot compete with the donations that Barack Obama has been able to amass in small amounts. Follow the money.
By now, it is well-known that Exxon Mobil and other big energy outfits spent millions buying fake science to instill doubt in global warming, ensuring that the public awareness of climate change and its costs would lag behind the rest of the world, engendering enmity among our allies and furthering the goals of demagoguery at home.
Most Americans now understand that the Bush White House invents logic as it goes along, cheered on by right-wing talk show hosts on television and radio.
But the reality-based community of Americans has had enough. McCain is being dragged by the train of irrationality George W. Bush pulls along, wherever he goes.
Bush administration economists purr that inflation is low when nearly every American is screaming about the cost of living. It is not just gasoline. Bread, butter, eggs.
What the per gallon price of gasoline should tell consumers is that the age of oil, for us, is over. It’s a bonaza for Middle East and Russian oil despots ripping a hole right through our pockets and our future. And it is a windfall for pay packages for executives of Big Oil and suppliers like Halliburton.
What the floods in the Midwest and extreme weather everywhere tell us is that the age of fossil fuels is over, showing that climate change is far, far more costly than most Americans even realize when crops can’t be grown reliably.
The only people who will profit by a rush to the oil and gas bank are the oil and gas bankers themselves.
If Americans are experiencing one thing at the gasoline pump, it is the sober realization that our energy future has to change. It is not going to change by putting more money in the pockets of Big Oil and their supporters who cheered wildly for John McCain in Houston yesterday.
Remember, too: this is from a candidate—John McCain—who claims deep experience but whose understanding of economics seems to have hardly evolved since he rushed to the defense of banker and favor-purveyor Charles Keating, who defrauded depositors and his Arizona bank of hundreds of millions in the 1980’s.
Today McCain is surrounded by advisors like former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, responsible for shielding the financial services industries and hedge funds from accountability and supervision, and chief campaign fundraiser Al Hoffman, whose millions derived from putting Americans in badly designed suburbs far from their places of work.
In other words, the desire to drill for offshore oil is another manifestation of how we are addicted to unsupportable debt. Republicans poll-tested the move to offshore oil by McCain, Bush, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist within an inch of its life.
But if Republicans have proven one thing, with the Bush war in Iraq now totaling trillions of dollars, it is this: we are tired of the pitchmen, K Street lobbyists, and a reality scribbled in the margins of policy papers of the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation by Karl Rove and Grover Norquist.
If you think the price at the pump is too high, multiply it by twenty or thirty to get the price per gallon measured by malfeasance of a Republican White House in the protection of our democratic freedoms.
The truth is: we can’t afford gasoline at any price.
The sooner our politics orients our economic growth to conservation and renewable fuels, the sooner we can reclaim our status in the world and the value of our dollar in our pockets.
Trying to drill our way out of the oil problem is like trying to spread democracy in Iraq. Nothing succeeds like success and nothing fails like making the same mistakes, again and again.