From the 1969 Union Oil spill that belched 200,000 gallons of crude onto 36 miles of Santa Barbara beach, to the Exxon Valdez, to Louisiana–where nearly 50 oil spills were reported in 2005 alone. We’ve all seen the drowning birds, the blackened sand, the coastal life dying ugly, drawn out deaths…

George Bush, John McCain, and now Florida Governor and VP prospect Charlie Crist want to you expunge all those images from your mind. Because they want to promise voters cheap oil by okaying more drilling off our coasts.

Off-shore drilling’s been banned for years. Now McCain and Co. want to bring it back. It’s a cheap trick by McCain who’s supposedly against global warming, and Crist who long-opposed drilling off the coast of Florida.

But it’s not just that the election season pandering is sickening. Yet more drilling makes no sense. We don’t need a short term band-aid that could permanently cost us our coasts. What we need is a national plan: mass transit, solar… wind turbines… help Detroit bring the electric car back!

Congress has a good idea to fund alternative energy — a windfall profit tax on those massive oil company profits — McCain, Crist, and Bush don’t like that.

But whatever you think of that, leave the beaches alone. What we need to drill down for is a new energy policy. Now.

The F Word is a daily commentary by Laura Flanders.

From the 1969 Union Oil spill that belched 200,000 gallons of crude onto 36 miles of Santa Barbara beach, to the Exxon Valdez, to Louisiana–where nearly 50 oil spills were reported in 2005 alone. We’ve all seen the drowning birds, the blackened sand, the coastal life dying ugly, drawn out deaths…

George Bush, John McCain, and now Florida Governor and VP prospect Charlie Crist want to you expunge all those images from their mind. Because they want to promise voters cheap oil by okaying more drilling off our coasts.

Off-shore drilling’s been banned for years. Now McCain and Co. want to bring it back. It’s a cheap trick by McCain who’s supposedly against global warming, and Crist who long-opposed drilling off the coast of Florida.

But it’s not just that the election season pandering is sickening. Yet more drilling makes no sense. We don’t need a short term band-aid that could permanently cost us our coasts. What we need is a national plan: mass transit, solar… wind turbines… help Detroit bring the electric car back!

Congress has a good idea to fund alternative energy — a windfall profit tax on those massive oil company profits — McCain, Crist, and Bush don’t like that.

But whatever you think of that, leave the beaches alone. What we need to drill down for is a new energy policy. Now.

The F Word is a daily commentary by Laura Flanders.

(more…)

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.

27 Comments