July 15th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

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


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?


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.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/15/art.oil.jpg caption="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?


Filed under: BP oil spill • Gulf oil spill • Offshore Drilling • Oil spill
June 23rd, 2010
05:57 PM ET

Should deepwater offshore oil drilling be banned?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, the debate over deepwater offshore drilling is heating up.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/23/art.oil.jpg caption=""]
The Obama administration is pushing back after a federal judge ruled against a six month moratorium the president put in place after the BP oil disaster.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the government will issue a new moratorium that will be less restrictive on drilling.

Salazar says that we need a "pause" on deepwater drilling.

The White House says it doesn't make sense to keep drilling at these depths without knowing what happened - that doing so puts lots of people in danger.

But not everyone agrees.

Many in the offshore oil industry, as well as local politicians, have been calling for the ban to be lifted, saying it's hurting business and throwing people out of work.

The federal judge sided with the companies which filed suit against the government saying they are suffering "irreparable harm" as a result of the moratorium.

Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Mary Landrieu are asking the Obama administration not to appeal the ruling.

Landrieu, a democrat, says she would rather they find a way forward that would meet the goals of safety and responsibility without jeopardizing an entire industry.

And Texas oil executive T. Boone Pickens compares shutting down all deepwater oil rigs after the BP accident to shutting down all airlines after one plane crash.

Here’s my question to you: Should deepwater offshore oil drilling be banned?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: BP oil spill • Offshore Drilling • Oil Prices • Oil spill
May 5th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

U.S. policy on offshore oil drilling?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As thousands of people work to contain that massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - there are serious questions about future U.S. policy when it comes to offshore drilling.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/05/art.offshore.drilling.jpg caption=""]
Fisherman, National Guard troops, volunteers and the oil company BP - which is responsible for the leak - are battling the oil spill with everything from steel to fire.

But there are growing concerns that if the oil reaches the shore - it will kill wildlife and damage the jobs of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And the effects will be felt for years in the affected areas.

New offshore drilling has been banned in most U.S. waters since the early 1980s; but just a few weeks ago - President Obama announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling because of the country's energy and economic needs.

He said the federal government would start leasing some areas off the coasts of Virginia, Alaska and potentially Florida to oil companies.

Suddenly that doesn't seem like such a good idea.

The White House now says President Obama's offshore plans aren't set in stone. And a group of Democratic senators says any new plans for offshore drilling are "dead on arrival."

Even Some Republicans are changing their minds - Florida governor Charlie Crist, who has previously supported offshore drilling, now says it's quote "got to tabled, for sure." California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has withdrawn his support for a plan that would expand drilling off the coast of California.

Here’s my question to you: What should U.S. policy be when it comes to offshore oil drilling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Offshore Drilling
August 12th, 2008
05:39 PM ET

Should ban on offshore drilling be lifted?

Nancy Pelosi now says she’d be open to a vote on offshore drilling. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has changed her mind when it comes to allowing a vote on offshore drilling.

Until now, Pelosi has called the idea a "hoax" and has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote, but now she's suggesting she'd be open to just that. But there are strings… lots and lots of strings.

Pelosi says a vote on offshore drilling would have to be part of a larger energy package that included things like releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Pelosi indicated that she might even back a package that includes drilling – if things like renewable energy resources are also included. Plus orthodontic work for her grandchildren.

As Americans got hammered with record high gas prices this summer, Republicans have been pushing hard for a vote to lift the ban on offshore drilling. Some Republicans even stayed in Washington during the summer recess to continue to demand the vote. It's one of the few issues the American people seem to agree with the Republicans on – which is why Pelosi decided to change her mind. It changes with the wind direction and the wind on offshore drilling began blowing against her. A recent poll shows 69% of Americans favor offshore drilling, just 30% oppose it.

Pelosi is following in the footsteps of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who also recently reversed his position on the issue – saying he'd be open to drilling if it's part of a larger energy package. And John McCain also opposed offshore drilling before changing his mind and supporting it, too. Don't you love how they all stand firm on their principles?

Here’s my question to you: Should the ban on offshore drilling be lifted?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Offshore Drilling • US Economy
July 15th, 2008
05:50 PM ET

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling?

Discoverer Deep Seas drillship off the coast of Louisiana drills for oil in the Gulf of Mexico for Chevron.(PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush says Congress is the only thing standing between Americans and offshore drilling.

With gas averaging more than $4 a gallon, the president lifted an executive order yesterday that bans offshore drilling. But it was pretty much an empty gesture – not unlike a good deal of the rest of the Bush administration.

Offshore drilling has been against the law since 1981, and Congress would need to repeal that law before any drilling can take place. The president says Democrats should match his action to show that "they finally heard the frustrations of the American people."

Republicans in Congress are joining President Bush in laying the blame at the feet of the Democrats. Seven years without a coherent energy policy, and suddenly $4 gas is the Democrats' fault. Can you tell it's an election year?

The Democrats are pushing back. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says expanding offshore drilling would do little to lower gas prices in the near future. She says President Bush should release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a move he has resisted.

And it's not just Democrats who are against offshore drilling. California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says it's not the answer, and instead we should work toward alternative energy sources.

The whole debate is pretty silly when you think about it. The oil companies currently have 68 million acres under offshore lease that are not being developed. Also, the U.S. has a shortage of refinery capacity, so even if we started drilling for more oil, there would be an issue of where to refine it.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress go along with President Bush's call to lift the ban on offshore drilling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Offshore Drilling