While John McCain and the Republicans are steadfastly trying to eliminate issues and facts from the election altogether, there is one exception to that rule - offshore drilling. There's a large enough group of lawmakers working on this that something is likely to come out of Congress in the waning days of the session, and most likely it won't be that great. From a practical standpoint, Republicans can simply wait out the Congressional moratorium which has to be renewed every year and let it elapse, meaning that they would then be able to deliver leases to oil and gas companies allowing for exploration as close as 3 miles from the shoreline. Democrats are trying to gain a political advantage by showing how bankrupt the "all of the above" energy plan Republicans appear to endorse truly is, by forcing a series of votes where the GOP will cling to its Big Oil buddies, and vote down removing their tax breaks, incentives for solar and wind, etc. And there is some movement by more threatened Republicans to embrace a more comprehensive bill which would incentivize renewables and cut Big Oil subsidies in addition to limited allowances on drilling.
However, I think that this argument made by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is the one worth repeating a thousand times between now and November.
WHITEHOUSE: Gentlemen, we’re in the middle of a near total mortgage system meltdown in this country. We have a health care system that burns 16 percent of our GDP, in which the Medicare liability alone has been estimated at $34 trillion. We’re burning $10 billion a month in Iraq.
This administration has run up $7.7 trillion in national debt, by our calculation. And there is worsening evidence every day of global warming, with worsening environmental and national security and economic ramifications. In light of those conditions, do any of you seriously contend that drilling for more oil is the number one issue facing the American people today?
(Long silent pause during which nobody answers.)
WHITEHOUSE: No, it doesn’t seem so.
And relatedly, the Republicans who brought you all of these policy failures, in the economy, health care, Iraq, housing, and the environment, are telling you that the answer completely lies in drilling.
The words "snake," "oil" and "salesmen" come to mind.