Thursday, September 4, 2008

Drill Baby Drill

The McCain/Palin energy policy is best summarized by the "drill baby drill" chants heard at the Republican National Convention. As one conservative commentator put it "We should drill like a field full of randy rabbits." Given McCain's position on energy and the Bush administration's abysmal environmental record (including recent efforts to undo the Endangered Species Act), the Republican position on the environment is clear. Defiantly pledging to drill for oil in ecologically fragile areas does nothing to address the real energy challenges of the future. Even amongst Republicans it is widely accepted that "We can't drill our way out of this."

The McCain energy plan to drill for oil ignores the important efforts required for a sustainable future (through modest conservation efforts alone it is entirely possible to reduce energy consumption between 7-10%). We need legislation that reflects an energy strategy, we need to increase renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency. Reducing oil consumption also has the additional effect of stabilizing pricing.

Rather than further eroding delicate eco-systems by drilling for oil, the Republican presidential hopeful should be focusing on diversifying America's energy economy by encouraging venture capitalists in the renewable energy sector. McCain does not get it, America needs to focus on energy in a methodical way, this entails federal support for innovation, conservation, and alternatives. McCain's energy strategy is not a strategy at all, it is yet another installment of Republican subterfuge.

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