How Can You Even Think of Drilling at a Time Like This?


Photo via the Guardian

That's what I want to know. Yesterday, I blasted some particularly ignorant pols and pundits who were still including shout outs to offshore drilling in their standard boilerplate speeches -- but nobody would be seriously seeking to advocate a policy of expanded drilling right now, would they? Rational pros and cons aside, it'd just be politically, well, stupid, right? Evidently not to Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, who represents the very state that stands to get pummeled by the oil, and House Minority Leader John Boehner. They're both seriously seeking to approve more offshore drilling right now.Yes -- right now, as a bare minimum of 200,000 gallons of oil (higher estimates put it closer to 1 million) spews into the Gulf a day, and a supreme case of negligence (albeit legal) from BP that allowed the disaster to happen unfolding before our eyes, these politicians are seriously already trying to lobby for expanded drilling. Here's Think Progress:

As BP's massive oil disaster in the Gulf continues to devastate the ecosystem and economy of the region, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has a novel proposal: expanding oil drilling. Roll Call reports that, yesterday, Boehner said the "tragedy should remind us that America needs...[the] Republicans'" pro-drilling energy plan:

House Republican leaders are once again sounding the drumbeat for passage of their sidelined pro-drilling energy reform package, even as state and federal officials scramble to stem a massive Gulf oil spill. "This tragedy should remind us that America needs a real, comprehensive energy plan, like Republicans' 'all-of-the-above' strategy," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday in a statement.

The GOP proposal, which was first rolled out in the summer of 2008 and has made multiple appearances since then, would, among other things, open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration and lift the moratoriums on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.

And Mary Landrieu is similarly forward in her support for new offshore drilling friendly legislation:
Despite the threat to her state -- the second-largest U.S. seafood producer -- Landrieu has repeatedly called on colleagues not to "react with fear...not to retreat" from plans for more drilling, once the BP investigation is complete.

She has drawn parallels to the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident that contributed to freezing the development of new nuclear power plants for decades.

"Our country needs this oil, there is no question about that," Landrieu said May 2 in an interview with WWL-TV in New Orleans. "We have to produce this oil at home unless we want to be completely reliant. We've got to investigate, fine, clean up and do the research necessary to make sure this will never happen again. We have to continue to go forward."

Such short-sighted politicians frustrate me to no end -- even as oil from one such offshore operation gone-awry threatens to devastate her state's economy and debilitate its fragile natural habitats, the only way forward Landrieu can see is more oil. Never mind there are a few alternatives that this whole debacle makes a pretty good case for, if you ask me . . .

More on the Gulf Oil Spill
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill : The What, When and Where
Is the Gulf Oil Spill Really That Big of a Deal?
Gulf Oil Spill : The Black and Oily Demise of Wildlife (Slideshow)

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