I don’t think many people realize this, because I certainly didn’t: Offshore drilling and Arctic drilling would not impact gas prices in the near future. It’s 100% populist, used by McCain and the Republicans to pander to what voters want. I think we all remember the GOP National Convention, when Republicans kept screaming “Drill, baby, drill.” Oh, boy. What McCain conveniently left out is this, that the US Government’s Energy Information Administration says the exact opposite:
“The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030,” the report said.
–“‘Drill here, drill now’ is drilled in to Americans” (link)
Unfortunately, Obama has reluctantly supported offshore drilling to remain competitive in the presidential race, because he knows if he continues to oppose offshore drilling, he will lose people’s votes, even though gas prices would not immediately decrease as a result of offshore drilling. McCain has already been trying to drill into people’s heads that Obama is against offshore drilling, to scare them into voting for him. Too bad the media refuses to clear up the confusion either. It took an LA Times blog for me to realize this myself.
I think people don’t realize that drilling for oil is not like sipping milk through a straw. It takes years to even get the drilling started (10 years for production to get going). I know Americans like myself want lower gas prices at the pump, but McCain himself would be older than 94 years of age when offshore drilling has an impact on gas prices. That’s a full 22 years+ from now to feel the price change.
It’s really annoying to see McCain say that Palin is well-versed in energy policy since she’s the governor of the U.S.’ 2nd largest producer of crude oil. Might I add that Texas is #1 in crude oil production and not too long ago, President Bush was Governor Bush of Texas, and gas prices have increased during his administration.
And yesterday I watched Nightline, in which Charles Gibson interviewed Palin. They talked about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and how Palin hasn’t budged on wanting to drill there (of course not, it’s beneficial to get revenue for her state when Palin is the governor). The US Government reports that opening up the refuge would not lower gas prices immediately–it would take ~20 years to see a major impact:
But the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an independent statistical agency within the Department of Energy, concluded that new oil from [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] would lower the world price of oil by no more than $1.44 per barrel—and possibly have as little effect as 41 cents per barrel—and would have its largest impact nearly 20 years from now if Congress voted to open the refuge today.
–“Arctic Drilling Wouldn’t Cool High Oil Prices,” US News and World Report (link)
It’s so sad that we’re living in the age of information, where information is more readily available than ever, but we’re just as uninformed or even less informed than ever.
That said, Palin’s interview with Charles Gibson was mediocre, at best. She reminded me of a high school debater (my high school has a cult-like speech and debate following, with the 3rd largest forensics team in the country), who is not well-versed but knows how lengthen sentences to buy time. I remember my 8th grade English teacher always wanting her students to add florid, totally useless and irrelevant words and sentences, because that was her style. I’m good at that and obviously Palin is too. (But being good with words doesn’t mean I should become VP) She circled around almost every question, to the point that Charles Gibson told her that he got lost in “her blizzard of words.”
If you just read her answers, I can assure you that you would not be able to guess what Gibson had been asking. Her eye twitched and I could tell she was nervous. That’s what she should’ve felt, because she secluded herself from the press for half a month and built anticipation among Americans. Palin didn’t have a thorough understanding of foreign affairs. I’m no scholar on this either, but geez, even my sister learned the Bush doctrine in high school while taking AP US History. Palin should at least know a lot more than high schoolers taking Advanced Placement exams, since she is running for the Second Highest Office in the Land.
Palin was way too confident in what she said (I believe in a more flexible foreign policy, the carrot and stick approach) She said we shouldn’t second-guess Israel three times. She didn’t know how to answer several questions. In one instance, when Gibson was obviously asking her about the importance of foreign policy, she tried to change the topic and started blabbing about energy independence, her comfort zone.
Remember when Palin said that the presidency isn’t “supposed to be a journey of ‘personal discovery'”? Well, the vice presidency shouldn’t be a journey of personal discovery either. I don’t know what she’s insinuating, but unlike President Reagan, Palin has not formulated any political ideology and I don’t know if she even has any of her own ideas when it comes to the way she will approach foreign affairs when she kept recycling McCain’s words. Palin also tried to show us how “small” this world really is by telling Americans that from a desolate island in Alaska, one can see the thinly-populated Siberia. Just because my friends at UC San Diego can sometimes see the Mexican border as they drive south doesn’t mean they’re knowledgable in foreign affairs.
Then Palin told us this beautiful story about how she believes God’s plan is life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Maybe it’s just me, but weren’t the Constitution and Declaration of Independence framed by Enlightenment thinkers, those who rejected the antiquated dominance of church in philosophy and thinking? She strangely quoted Abraham Lincoln when Gibson asked her why she said that our leaders sent troops away on a mission from God. That was obviously rehearsed and had little to do with what she said in church.