Wednesday, June 18, 2008

McCain flops, Gore burns, and the AP stinks

McCain continues to burn his bridges, this time by calling for an end to the offshore drilling ban. This is especially curious since McCain has been courting environmental groups for some time now (the Christian right and the Greens are not fundamentally incompatible; the sticking point has long been the coalition between the Christian right and Big Business, whose goals are rather difficult to reconcile with those of the Greens). It looks as if McCain was hoping to pander to moderates upset about high gas prices by presenting the rather absurd promise that opening up offshore drilling will somehow lower gas prices. Of course, it won't, at least not anytime soon. It's also another flipflop for McCain, who supported the ban in his 2000 campaign. While there is a lot of dispute over the numbers, it's estimated that the moratorium blocks access to about 16 billion barrels of extractable oil, or about 800 days worth at current consumption. And it'll take two years at least to actually get viable production out of these fields, and doing so will be at significant cost. It seems to me that there are better applications of our national resources than vainly prolonging the inevitable by further destroying our environment. Sadly, it seems I'm in the minority here, probably because most Americans have no real understanding of the true state of the oil crisis.

It looks as if McCain may need to do even more pandering: Quinnipiac's latest poll has Obama leading in "critical" swing states Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In Florida and Ohio, thirteen percent of those who voted for President Bush in 2004 now support Obama; in Ohio that number is nineteen percent.

Moving to the other side of the environmental aisle, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (a supposedly nonpartisan but obviously conservative think-tank) reports that Al Gore's personal electricity consumption has jumped 10% in the past year, apparently despite his efforts to make his home more energy efficient. Quite frankly I'm at a loss as to what Gore is doing in his house to consume nearly 18 MWh a month, unless perhaps he has a movie studio there or something.

The outrage at the AP's attempt to shakedown bloggers continues. Several bloggers have since found instances of the AP quoting from blogs rather extensively, sometimes without credit. Greed and hypocrisy both; such a lovely combination.