In spite of the fact that he is sponsoring the most comprehensive energy reform bill in American history [pdf], Senator John Kerry said at an event on Wednesday that ending offshore oil drilling was simply not possible.
This comes at a time when an oil geyser in the Gulf of Mexico is releasing, according to some experts, as much as 4 million gallons of sweet crude a day into the formerly pristine Gulf waters.
During a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Kerry acknowledged that the American Power Act would make great strides for the environment, but that expecting the bill to completely put an end to offshore drilling is not “realistic.” CSM has a video of the event here.
To make matters worse, the American Power Act would actually increase the amount of offshore drilling in America, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico where more than 48,000 oil wells are currently operating.
Kerry tried to downplay this expansion by saying that “only two states would be affected” by increased drilling – Alaska and “the Gulf of Mexico.” While Kerry included the Gulf of Mexico as one state, there are actually five states that have a coastline on the Gulf.
According to The New York Times, at least five more environmental waivers have been granted since the Gulf oil leak started for companies wishing to drill in the Gulf.
Kerry claims in the CSM video that there will be no drilling expansions granted through the American Power Act “until and unless there is a full explanation of what happened in the Gulf, and there is a showing that there is a capacity to prevent it from ever happening again.”
Kerry went on to demonstrate how our current dependence on fossil fuels makes it impossible to stop drilling: “Now we’re not going to stop drilling in the Gulf tomorrow, folks, let’s be realistic…About 30% of our transportation fuel comes from the Gulf. Do you think America’s going to suddenly stop driving to work tomorrow?…Not gonna happen.”
While Kerry highlighted the fact that our dependence on oil is making it impossible to stop drilling, he didn’t explain why his American Power Act actually pushes for more offshore drilling, in addition to funding alternative sources.
The flip-flopper image that Kerry garnered during the 2004 campaign is re-emerging as he continues to speak out of both sides of his mouth with regards to his own climate bill. Couple that with Joe Lieberman’s general weakness in politics, and this bill might be headed down the drain very quickly.
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