Sunday, July 18, 2010

Offshore Drilling and Our Future vs. Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist has called for a special session to ban offshore drilling. Many right thinking people see this pure politicization of an issue that should be handled with common sense, but are loathe to speak out for fear of a public backlash.

Leadership is now needed on a key economic and security issue. It is the job of our state leaders to educate the public, not to kowtow to prevailing, but harmful, doctrines.

Taking a correct stand on this issue makes political sense too. We will not win seats by ignoring the issue and allowing Charlie Crist and the rest of the left to play it up. Doing so only makes us look callous in hindsight. Republicans will invariably be hit as the party of drilling regardless of what we do. The question is only whether we will allow the callous left to define the issue.

The Republican Party stands for jobs, the economy and national security. Drilling is an important part of all three. So we can take blame for having done the right thing, or we can infuse the public with common sense and rightly own the issue. The choice is ours.

The spill was not the issue. The hapless federal response to the spill is

We will not win over votes by going along with Crist’s latest PR stunt. We will, however, gain crossover votes and take control of the issue if we simply present the facts:

  • The spill was not the issue. The hapless federal response to the spill is.Federal authorities didn’t just order the State of Louisiana to halt measures designed to protect its coast. They also refused dozens of Florida ships that volunteered to assist in cleaning up the spill. They could have capped the hole a long time ago. Tent pitching, throwing golf balls and doing everything short of lowering Al Gore into the hole to scare it into submission were all gross examples of ineptitude and nothing more. We have the means to deal with spills far better than we did in this case.
  • We are the only continent on the globe that has oil and that hasn’t increased drilling since 2002. I have yet to see a study that shows drilling off the coast of Brazil or in the sands of Saudi Arabia to be more environmentally sound than drilling here.
  • Preventing drilling off our shores is a misnomer. We can debate all day long whether or not to drill a few miles into our waters. In the meantime, Chinese, Cuban, Venezuelan and other companies of foreign nationals are drilling the exact same oil from a few miles off of our waters. The only question is whether we will get any benefit from it. Besides, we care far more about our shores and maintaining our environmental resources than the foreign companies drilling right outside of our waters do. So, yes, protect our environment. Let Americans drill our own resources.
  • The problem with the BP spill was precisely the fact that it wasn’t offshore drilling. Offshore drilling is easy to monitor and its shallow leaks are easy to plug. Done in unpopulated coastal spaces, it affects no one other than the workers who would find employment were drilling to be allowed.
  • Even with regard to deep water drilling, the fact is that after trying everything in the book, even Obama’s people now know how to plug a hole.

Democrats should also be outraged by Charlie’s latest costly stunt. The federal ban ensures that even if Crist gets his way, the Florida one will be nothing more than symbolic. This special session is another waste of money, time and state resources, plain and simple.

I’m willing to let my election rise and fall on this issue. It’s not politically incorrect to speak out when no one does. But it is the definition of politically inept to allow the left to use the issue to score undeserved political points by falsifying and distorting the truth.

Now is a time that we need conservative state legislators more than ever. I ask all interested people to get involved in my campaign and in those of other conservatives on the local level. We can do far more to curb the insanity that is going on than national leaders sometimes can.

The above listed facts speak for themselves. We as a party need only to articulate them.

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