McCain Calls for More Offshore Drilling: What Else Would He Say in Houston?

  • Published on June 17th, 2008

When in Rome, right?

Offshore oil drilling rig

Despite the fact that he supported a moratorium on offshore drilling during his previous run for the White House and he has opposed drilling in Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and elsewhere, McCain will call for the elimination of that moratorium today in Houston.

McCain’s prepared remarks will be be well-received in Houston, arguably the oil capital of America. My point is this: When McCain is in Portland, Oregon he speaks at a Vestas Wind Energy facility and touts the benefits of renewable energy (but offers little policy support to back it up); when McCain is in Houston he calls for a gas tax holiday and lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling.

In short, the part of me that hears Sen. McCain speak about addressing climate change and developing “alternate energy sources” doesn’t jive with the part of me that reads his voting record on this stuff. And apparently, I’m not the only one.

“The easiest point to make about John McCain’s current support for offshore drilling is that it is a flip-flop. When McCain ran for president in 1999, he supported the current moratorium on offshore drilling, slated to last until 2012.” (Mother Jones)

“McCain’s reversal on off-shore drilling is a blatant pitch for donations at today’s Houston fundraising events.” (David Donnely of Campaign Money Watch)

“Although McCain says that he supports renewable energy, he has set so specific targets. John McCain’s website makes no mention of solar, wind, renewable energy, or even public transportation under the section on climate change and has no section on energy.” (Sarah Lozanova of Red, Green, & Blue)

Considering the mission of this blog, I would be remiss to not include a snippet from a conservative pundit and backer of the McCain plan (especially considering how much time I spent trying to find one!):

“In fact, the economic slowdown, including the spike in gasoline prices, gives Republicans chance to attack Democrats as elitists, as “let-them-drive-bicycles”-type snobs; as polar-bear loving Greens who would rather worry about glaciers on the North Pole than about jobs for Middle Americans in North Carolina or North Dakota.” (James Pinkerton of The Fox Forum)

Related Posts:

“Help Set the Environmental Agenda for the 44th President”

“Obama Ad Rejects Gas-Tax Break”

“McCain and Obama Differ on Energy”

“McCain’s Plan to Combat Climate Change”


1. cmakin via flickr under a Creative Commons license

2. John McCain for President Website

About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.


  • we want our cake and to eat it too! We want lower gas prices but don't drill in our back yard. Take it from the gulf coast but don't give them the funds from royalties or levees or infrastructure. We want but don't want to give.

  • Even an actual Bush administration report exposes the deceitfulness of the Bush-McCain-Crist drilling plan. The damning assessment appears in the Department of Energy's Annual Energy Outlook 2007, prepared last February by the Energy Information Administration, an independent statistical and analytical agency within DOE.

    "The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030… Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant." [Department of Energy's Annual Energy Outlook 2007, 2/07,

  • What else is there to say – it appears these folks will do anything to win the white house. It doesn't matter whether they believe the gas tax holiday is a gimmick or that we cannot drill ourselves out of an oil dependant economy that causes national security to deteriorate just a little bit more each day. Individual integrity be damned – it's all about winning the presidency, not improving our country and the lives of our citizens. You know, I have had just about enough of this political rerun; I’ve seen it all too many times before.

    Anyway, at the risk of sounding just a little too “elitist” – it's obvious for McCain and the United States of America, McCain’s will be a "pyrrhic victory" if he takes the white house intending to achieve his apparent desire to drill our way out of our national oil fixation. The simple fact is we are at the mercy of those nation states that possess the oil, and even if we begin drilling off our coasts tomorrow, we Americans will still be at their mercies for many years to come. Not to mention, after the oil companies successfully drill new holes at the bottoms of our oceans does anyone really expect that these free market oil companies are going to sell that new oil only to us citizens of North America, and at a reasonable price?

    Do you ever feel like your intelligence is being insulted by these people who constantly say they are going to represent us when it often appears they are representing anybody but us? A long time ago, somebody said something akin to "the American electorate gets what it deserves," – don’t we deserve better than the last seven years?

    So what’s it all come down to? Well, I remember John McCain of the year 2000, and I believed I knew that John McCain; I believed I could trust that John McCain. But this new John McCain, to him I say, “You’re no John McCain.” So if this new John McCain is what we can expect during a new republican presidency, we deserve better than John McCain, regardless of whether Barak Obama is that "better."

  • After watching the senate hearing regarding the energy crisis I was first happy to see a pipartisand group of public servants asking questions. The former head of the commodies exchange the same individual to help with california natural gas crisis a few years back STATED a 25 % reuction in gasoline prices would be realized IF lawmakers passed a bill requiring overseas oil trades having a paper trail. It was also stated that many experts agree the price reduction in gasoline could be as high as 50 % if this tracking of of offshore oil trading was implemented.

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