Sen. Barack Obama has said he would oppose domestic oil exploration
and drilling. So has Sen. John McCain. But there’s new pressure to
reconsider the facts about the availability of those resources and the
ability to extract them cleanly. Anybody listening?

The New York Times paints kind of a confusing picture of John McCain’s position. Or maybe John McCain is confused about his position. 

Senator John McCain reiterated his opposition to
drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, a
day after his statement that he would be willing to “go back and look
at it again” sparked speculation among both opponents and proponents of
drilling that he might change his mind.

So…what does that mean?

“My position has not changed,’’ Mr. McCain said here on his campaign bus.

“People have said to me, ‘I’m going to bring you new information
about ANWR, how environmentally we can make it safe,’” he said. “I’ll
be glad to accept new information but my position has not changed.”

Here’s how the WSJ reports it.

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he still opposes
drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, though he is open
to hearing what supporters have to say.

He made similar comments at a town hall meeting in Springfield, Mo.,
a day earlier, prompting Democrats and others to accuse him of
flip-flopping on the issue.

“It is stunning that one day after John McCain claimed to oppose
drilling in the Arctic, he would tell a voter that he’s open to
examining it. This is a mind-boggling reversal,” said a statement from
Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth Action.

What’s mind-boggling is how much the activist environmentalists have held sway over Washington for so long on this.

Two years ago on my radio show, the president of a small start-up
Canadian oil company explained that technological advancements now
allow experts to extract that oil without leaving any environmental
footprint whatsoever. Another expert went further….”without so much as
harming a hair on the back of a polar bear” he said.

And then there’s the oil reserves off the coast of Florida, which we
have not been allowed to touch. It’s now up for consideration with gas
and oil prices climbing so high, but even that has become a political football. More divisive partisan bickering.

And then there’s all the arguing about oil companies. What’s that all about?

President Bush, currently with a higher approval rating than Congress, is looking for an end to this.

As average U.S. pump prices pierced the $4-a-gallon
($1.06-a-litre) level for the first time this month, up more than $1
from a year ago, energy policy has become a key issue in the
presidential race ahead of November elections.

Today is the first official day of summer. Going to be a hot one.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....