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Slippery when vetted

Cross-posted from the NC Conservation Network blog

Was anyone else bitterly disappointed this morning after reading the News & Observer's headline that "Democrats cry uncle on drilling?" From the article:

"Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts — including North Carolina's shoreline — to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4-a-gallon gasoline prices this summer."

Basically, now we have both parties of Congress supporting offshore drilling which, as laid out in our action alert, would do the following:

  • jeopardize NC's fishing industry;

  • threaten the rare coral wilderness off NC's coast; and

  • permanently change the face of coastal communities.

At the same time, offshore drilling would not lead to significant (or timely) oil production. [For a recent Op-Ed on this issue written by a state legislator, see http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=305388.]

From a recent poll conducted by Elon University:

"The poll also found that most people expect the drilling to affect gas prices in the near future. About 14 percent expected that permitting drilling would lower prices immediately or within one year. Another 53 percent expected gas price relief in one to 10 years.

The federal government disagrees. A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration last year found that new exploration in the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico would produce an extra 200,000 barrels of oil a day by 2030. But U.S. oil consumption is currently 100 times higher than that. Since oil prices are determined on a worldwide market, the new oil would not affect oil prices, the EIA said." [emphasis mine]

So why, oh WHY do more than two-thirds of North Carolinians support offshore drilling?

3 Comments

  1. Rob Schofield

    September 25, 2008 at 10:57 am

    It’s a good question Mindy — to which I’m afraid the answer is a sad one: this is what you get when rich and powerful corporations and their surrogates tell lies to a desperate population.

    Yesterday, I saw a pick-up truck in my neighborhood that has long featured a bumper sticker which says something like “Friends don’t let friends buy foreign shrimp.” Now the owner has added a second one that says “Drill here, drill now, pay less.”

    I mean you can’t make this up — it’s a form of pathological group-think that I call “militant know-nothingism.” It happens when scared and distracted people are skillfully fed a healthy dose of misinformation that plays to their worst instincts. See the USA Patriot Act and other disastrous post-911 results.

    Progressives must continue to remember that the far right will do anything at any time to advance their agenda. We can never assume that facts and intelligence will naturally win out when the other side is willing to tell lies that are gauged to to convince people that there are simple, pain-free solutions to the problems we confront.

  2. Mindy Hiteshue

    September 25, 2008 at 11:03 am

    This is so discouraging! I feel like everyone’s looking for a “magic pill.”

  3. Rob Schofield

    September 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Also check out the Fitzsimon File later this afternoon. He’ll be highlighting some other poll results about drilling that demonstrate how much the public has been hoodwinked.