Barack Obama modifies his stance on offshore drilling:
Barack Obama said Friday that he would be willing to compromise on his position against offshore oil drilling if it were part of a more overarching strategy to lower energy costs.
“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama told The Palm Beach Post early into a two-day swing through Florida.
“If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage – I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done,” Obama said.
Look, I know that there are people who are suffering because of high gas prices. I’m one of them, although I know that, like many of you, I can probably afford the prices more than a lot of people. My problem with this is that I think democrats should be solidly be on the side of finding alternative energy. Rising gas prices have made a difference. I’ve noticed a lot more people riding MARTA in Atlanta – a LOT more. I’d be willing to bet many of these people were like me, before I made a commitment to figuring out the system and how to make it work. Pain works.
Personally, I don’t want to see gas prices come down because we’re drilling and finding more. The United States is finally getting a taste of what it’s been like in Europe and the rest of the world forever. When I first moved to Atlanta from Canada, I remember gas was 89¢ a gallon. There will never be improvements made in mass transit, no one will ever complain that we’re not investing in wind energy, and no one will ever be pushing for plug-in hybrids or electric cars is gas is cheap as dirt. Finally, with gas at $4.00, we’re starting to seriously talk about this stuff. Hell, we’ve got T. Boone Pickens, an oil guy, completely investing himself in this. and so what if he knows he’ll make a fortune off it. i don’t care. If he’s the one who makes it happen, then I’ll put my electric bill money in his wallet. We cannot drill our way out of this, as he has come to realize.
I would love to see the price of oil come down, but NOT because we’re drilling more of it; rather, I want to see it come down because we don’t use it. Ideally, I would love to see Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP lead the industry by becoming alternative energy companies. and if they refuse to do it, I want to see them tank.
Obama’s new position is wrong-headed, in my opinion.
Added: I had a conversation with my best friend, who is totally against hybrid vehicles. For him, they’re just ways to prolong our dependence on gas. I agree with him.