Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Offshore Snake Oil Bonanza

Republicans are tapping into a gusher of voter gullibility. According to the Rasmussen Reports, almost two-thirds of Americans approve of offshore drilling and believe that finding new sources of oil is more important than reducing the amount of energy they now use.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is waving the white flag by telling Larry King she might vote for drilling as part of a larger energy package, even as she proclaims, "I will not subscribe to a hoax on the American people that if you drill offshore, you're going to bring down the price at the pump. Even the president says that's not true."

The case for an easy fix is so compelling that the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund is taking out full-page newspaper ads to decry offshore drilling as "George W. Bush's Gasoline Price Elixir" that is "100% Snake Oil" and urge letters to Congress saying, "I am not buying the lie...that sacrificing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and America's coastal waters to oil drilling would make a real difference in gas prices--either today or twenty years from today!"

The Washington Post editorial page, ever faithful to the Bush Administration, starts out to debunk the ad but ends up agreeing that "the United States cannot drill its way to energy independence."

Offshore oil won't bring down prices at the pump (the current drop is showing that only lower demand can do that) but, as long as there are November votes buried in the issue, McCain and Congressional Republicans will keep hammering away.

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