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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Can you tell it's an election year? After a moratorium against drilling for oil in Alaska and off the coast of the U.S. for the last 27 years, suddenly the politicians are saying "to hell with the environment and the tourism industries in places like Florida… let's drill for oil now!"
Funny how gas hits four dollars and politicians throw their principles out the window. President Bush and John McCain both favor drilling as though it will take the place of a coherent energy policy. If exploration started today, some experts predict it could take ten years before you could pump the oil from the coastal areas and Alaska into your car as gasoline.
The economic implications for states like Florida – that rely heavily on tourism – are immense. In the event of a leak or a spill, the entire coastline could be ruined. Remember the Exxon Valdez.
The political implications for John McCain's chances of being the next president are also large. If coastal drilling happens in California, McCain can forget about it. Californians are among the most environmentally conscious folks in the country and are staunchly opposed to drilling for oil off their coast.
Florida could react the same way. Clean beaches are vital to the state's economy. But suddenly Florida's governor, Charlie Crist, who some think is salivating at the chance to be McCain's V.P., is all in favor. Until yesterday he was opposed.
Critics of the idea point out that the oil companies currently have 68 million acres under offshore lease that are not being developed. But critics be damned… full speed ahead. It's an election year and the voters are mad about gas prices.
Here’s my question to you: Is drilling for oil in Alaska and off the coast the answer to high gas prices?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
It's ridiculous that we're even talking about drilling. It's time to knuckle down, demand more efficient vehicles from manufacturers, search for (and spend money on) alternative energy sources, and bite the bullet about gas prices. They're high and they're going to stay high until we learn to wean ourselves off of oil.
Mark from Oklahoma City writes:
Drilling for oil in Alaska and offshore will probably not make our energy crisis go away, but for us to allow the environmentalists to force us into an economic collapse to save caribou and a few other forms of sea life is absurd.
Absolutely not! The answer to lower gas prices is lowering demand. So maybe the politicians and the voters that are supporting this idea should get off their lazy bottoms and start walking and riding their bikes more! I do not even own a car so I am doing my part to encourage lower gas prices already...what exactly are you doing?
It's amazing how many people oppose a common sense, rational idea such as drilling for "our own oil." They prefer to remain captive to OPEC and terrorist states.
Ed from Sebring, Florida writes:
Jack, The best way for us to pay for our gas is to buy our politicians for what they are worth and sell them to a foreign country for what they think they are worth. This would also go a long way toward solving our economic problems.
Ray from Florida writes:
What I'd like to know is: Where are we going to refine all this newfound oil? For years now we been told it's not the shortage of oil that is driving up the price of gas, it's that we can't refine it fast enough! Either Bush and McCain are confused, or they’re pulling our gas nozzle!
Hi Jack. By offshore, do you mean Iraq?