Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Snake Oil Salesmanship

Those are the words of Senator John Kerry, quoted in an Op-Ed piece in the NYT today by Bob Herbert regarding lifting the restrictions on off shore drilling. I couldn’t agree more -- it is just one more shameless argument promoted by the Republicans. It is one of the main issues right now of the campaign and it is designed to play on the fears of average Americans who see the high price of gasoline as undermining their standard living and it is a very real fear.

I think we all are sick of the sky high price of gasoline and fear just how much more it is going to affect all of us in the years to come, but repeating the message “we’re gonna drill offshore” particularly to a bunch of motorcyclists at a rally in South Dakota is shameless because it paints a false hope. To begin with as Senator Kerry and many others have pointed out, it would be nearly ten years before any oil would be realized from off shore drilling and the maximum capacity from these new leases wouldn’t be reached until 2030. And, as Mr. Herbert points out, even if everything went perfectly the estimated 200,000 barrels of oil a day that would come from the additional off shore drilling is a very tiny share of the world’s daily output of 85 million or so barrels.

The Energy Information Administration said that “because oil prices are determined on the international market, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant”.

But who talks about that at a biker rally? And who talks about facts that lifting the offshore restrictions risks serious environmental damage to the US coastline in the years to come? When will we push to have greater efforts made to find and invest in new technology, alternative fuels, and more fuel efficient cars? And when do we look beyond the Republican political rhetoric and take an honest look at what they’re proposing? It’s blowing in the wind gibberish at which politicians are so remarkably adept. Are we going to continue to let ourselves be deceived by all of this “drill, drill, drill” rhetoric or will we demand that our leaders take a serious look at the other alternatives. They are there but are our leaders really determined to find them?


patsy said...

have you noticed that gas is going down. could that be the major oil co. here are doing this hoping we will forget and vote republican.

Margie's Musings said...

It's unbelievable how ignorant about these things the average citizen is though. They are the ones who say, "Yes! Drill! I am sick of high gas prices". They don't investigate the facts at all.

Gas is going down because demand is down. People are simply canceling their vacations. It's too expensive.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Watch the price of gas go right back up as soon as the Olympics are over and China's demand goes back to normal.

When you listen to it, and I don't know who wrote the words for her, but the idea Paris Hilton put forward in her spoof on the campaign isn't at all a bad idea.

TropiGal said...

Back in the 1960s and 1970s -- and I infer some of us here are old enough to remember these days -- Jane Jacobs wrote a wonderful book called the Life and Death of the American City. The gist of the argument was that we had to stop living in suburbs and return to the rich, urban life of revitalized American cities. For about 30 years, I drove small cars. Then, I discovered that a big ole SUV seat was easier on my back, had lots of space for the big dogs -- and of course, there were all those glamor pitches on TV. Thank goodness I bought a 4-cylinder and get reasonably good mileage. The urgency of the situation got lost, and here were are decades later, with the same problems. What happened to us? Good post, Sylvia.