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July 15th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

How should the Gulf oil spill affect this country's energy policy going forward?

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Oil covered brown pelicans found off the Louisiana coast wait in a holding pen for cleaning at the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. (PHOTO CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are thousands of oil wells under the ocean. We have seen the effects of one going terribly wrong.

The economy of the Gulf Coast decimated… the fishing and tourism industries crushed.

If the administration's moratorium on offshore drilling is upheld by the courts this time around, thousands of additional people will lose their jobs in an economy already overrun with folks who can't find work.

Drilling for oil at these depths is risky at best and can be disastrous at worst - as we have seen.

But we need the oil… because for almost 40 years, since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, this country has failed to develop a coherent energy policy.

We just keep whistling past the graveyard of dependence on the Middle East and deep water drilling… waiting for the next crisis… whether it's another blown well, ruptured pipeline, or war in the Middle East that will interrupt the flow of oil and drive prices through the ceiling.

And it's not a question of whether there will be another crisis… it's a question of when the next one comes and how serious it will be.

But just like with so many of the other challenges confronting our country, the government and by extension we, the people seem content to live in a world of denial… unwilling to make the tough decisions necessary to make our energy future safer and more secure.

Here’s my question to you: How should the Gulf oil spill affect this country’s energy policy going forward?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: BP oil spill • Gulf oil spill • New Orleans • Offshore Drilling • Oil spill
July 15th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How much will the oil spill hurt the Democrats this November?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's way too soon to celebrate… but it's hard not to. After almost three months the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has finally been stopped… for now.

Oil is pictured off of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Oil is pictured off of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Even if it's stopped for good, the implications of what has happened are huge and probably won't be known for sometime.

The damage to the environment is immeasurable. Some say it will wind up being worse than the Exxon Valdez.

The government wants a moratorium on offshore drilling… one judge already said no… the Obama administration came back with a second one.

The oil spill has come to symbolize everything his critics say is wrong with this president's leadership. As those awful pictures of the ruptured well and the gushing oil filled our television screens day after agonizing day, President Obama increasingly was seen as indecisive and unwilling or incapable of taking charge and managing the crisis. At the end of the day, it was simply another problem this president didn't need. He has more than enough already.

And now as we collectively hold our breath and wait to see if the well will hold, one wonders how all of this will translate to the politics of the midterm elections which will be here in almost the same amount of time the oil has been flowing into the Gulf.

Here’s my question to you: How much will the oil spill hurt the Democrats this November?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: BP oil spill • Gulf oil spill • Offshore Drilling • Oil spill
June 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

In light of the oil spill, would you vacation on the Gulf Coast?

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Pres. Obama, Mayor George Schloegel (L) and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) enjoy snowballs after a roundtable discussion with local residents in Gulfport. Obama has implored Americans to visit southern Gulf coast beaches, as the tourism industry fears a hammering over the BP oil disaster. (PHOTO CREDIT: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The best way to help the people of the Gulf Coast is to go down there and visit - that was the message from President Obama as he toured the region earlier this week.

And Mr. Obama did his best to boost the tourism industry, struggling from the spreading oil slick. While visiting with local officials - he strolled the beaches, lunched on local crab cakes and shrimp... and downed a snow cone (down there, they're called "snowballs") in the 95 degree heat.

The president said one Gulfport, Mississippi hotel owner told him that business was down 40 percent due to the oil spill.

The effect of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history on tourism is a nightmare scenario for small business owners all along the coast... we're talking tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Analysts at Citigroup suggest that the loss of tourism and fishing revenues in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi alone could translate to claims of more than $10 billion.

Meanwhile it's estimated Florida could lose a third of its tourism industry... which would mean another $12 billion in lost revenue. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who could lose their jobs.

As the monstrous oil spill continues to spread, it's devastating huge swaths of coastline and marshland - killing an untold number of wildlife... not to mention the economic impact of jobs lost because of the moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Gulf.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the oil spill, would you vacation on the Gulf Coast?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: BP oil spill • Gulf oil spill • Oil spill • Vacation
June 1st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What stories will shape debate going into midterm elections?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the midterm elections only months away, Americans are fed up with both major political parties.

A new Gallup Poll shows near record-low favorable ratings for both Democrats and Republicans. The GOP has a measly 36 percent favorable rating - that's only five points above their all-time low in 1998 when the Republican-led Congress voted to impeach President Clinton.

The Democrats aren't much better. Their favorable rating is only 43 percent - just a couple points higher than their record low, which came during the recent health care debate.

Gallup says that low ratings don't usually occur for both parties simultaneously. Typically when one is down, the other is up. But this just goes to show you how disgusted Americans are with politicians of all stripes these days.

Meanwhile in a piece called "Stories that Could Rock the Summer," Politico looks at some of the issues that could shake up the elections in the next couple of months.

At the top of the list, no surprise: The Gulf oil spill - which could continue into August.

Then there's hurricane season - which is expected to be "very aggressive" and could once again put the focus on the government's preparedness, or lack thereof, for a natural disaster. Plus, don't forget all those other oil wells in the Gulf where the hurricanes blow.

There's also the possibility of a summertime terrorist attack which could certainly affect the midterms... and of course there's the economy. History suggests if unemployment is in double digits, that's bad news for the party in power. Right now we're hovering just below 10 percent. And we'll get a big jobs report on Friday.

Here’s my question to you: What stories will shape the debate going into the fall's midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • GOP • Gulf oil spill • Senate and Congress
June 1st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Is Gulf oil spill Pres. Obama's Katrina?

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In this NASA handout, the oil slick is seen off the coast of Louisiana with a portion flowing south from the accident site in the Gulf of Mexico. BP will reportedly make another attempt today at stifling at least part of the undersea oil gusher by trying to saw through the pipe leaking the oil. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA via GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been 43 days since the start of the Gulf coast oil spill. And the biggest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history has many asking if this disaster has become President Obama's "Katrina."

Once again the people of the Gulf coast have been devastated; and they're calling on both the oil giant BP and President Obama to do more. BP keeps trying - so far unsuccessfully - to stop the leak; and it could be as late as August before a permanent fix is found.

Meanwhile the president is pushing back against criticism that his administration didn't act quickly enough, saying the Katrina analogy is just "flat out wrong."

But some Gulf coast residents say the response to this crisis is even worse than George Bush's response to Katrina - and that's saying a lot. They say there's a disconnect between what the administration says and what's actually happening on the ground.

While the White House insists the law requires BP to clean up its own mess - some environmentalists say the government should just take over the response.

As for Mr. Obama, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times says he waited too long to show his outrage over this and other issues: "The man whose presidency is rooted in his ability to inspire withholds that inspiration when it is most needed."

Here’s my question to you: Has the Gulf oil spill become President Obama's Katrina?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Gulf oil spill