I woke up this morning to someone on the radio describing the Obama administration’s decision to allow offshore drilling as a “betrayal.” Jesus, people. I thought I covered this yesterday, but obviously the issue needs more clarification. According to this MSNBC post, here’s what Obama said in the first two presidential debates, in September and October.
We, as one of the biggest consumers of oil—25 percent of the world’s oil—have to have an energy strategy not just to deal with Russia, but to deal with many of the rogue states we’ve talked about, Iran, Venezuela. And that means, yes, increasing domestic production and off-shore drilling, but we only have 3 percent of the world’s oil supplies and we use 25 percent of the world’s oil. So we can’t simply drill our way out of the problem.
And in October:
There is going to be the need for each and every one of us to start thinking about how we use energy. I believe in the need for increased oil production. We’re going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling. It includes telling the oil companies, that currently have 68 million acres that they’re not using, that either you use them or you lose them.
That seems pretty clear to me. Now, I may not be happy about the aforementioned expansion of offshore drilling, but I supported a thoughtful pragmatic centrist in 2008 and for now, I still do. I also understand that people have doubts about gaining anything from Republicans for including their ideas as policy (already borne out by this)—though the fact that the evil James Inhofe has weighed in with mild support for Obama’s announcement is just kind of fucked up; who knows if that’ll bear any political fruit.
Anyway, to recap: disappointing, sure, a betrayal, not at all.