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
June 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

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


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?


Filed under: BP oil spill • Gulf oil spill • Oil spill • Vacation
June 14th, 2010
05:03 PM ET

What should Pres. Obama say about oil spill in Oval Office address?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While BP struggles to get control of the gulf oil spill, President Obama is going to try to get control of the story line.

Tomorrow night he will make his first address to the nation from the Oval Office since being inaugurated. The speech will follow a 2-day visit to the Gulf region nearly 60 days after the start of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The stakes for the president are high. It is his fourth trip to the region since the April 20th rig explosion; he continues to come under fire for being slow to respond.

The trip, the Oval Office address and his first face-to-face meeting with BP executives since the spill are all meant to show that the president in charge. The question is whether it's too late and whether the remainder of his presidency will be damaged as badly as the Gulf Coast – much the way George Bush's presidency was damaged by Katrina.

In the Oval Office speech tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to call for BP to create an escrow account reportedly in the amount of $20 billion to pay for damage claims to businesses and individuals whose lives have been destroyed by the spill.

He's also expected to call for an independent third party to handle the claims process.

The cries for Mr. Obama to step up have been getting louder. Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. recently called on the president to "level with the American people", use the crisis as a way to create jobs and "stop the blame game."

The spill has tested President Obama's leadership perhaps more than any other single event in his presidency.

Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear from President Obama about the oil spill in tomorrow’s Oval Office address?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Filed under: Oil spill • President Obama