Nancy Pelosi is an unlikely choice for Speaker Of The House of the United States. She is stupid, greedy, ignorant, vengeful, and stubborn. All poor qualities for someone in leadership, particularly someone that is third in the line of succession to be President. While these apparent political attributes have served her well, they have made the country less secure.
Pelosi stands firm against offshore drilling
The 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the steady push to tap the potential reserves off the state's rugged coast had galvanized Californians and made opposition to offshore drilling part of the political DNA of up-and-coming figures like Pelosi.
She repeatedly resisted oil drilling in marine sanctuaries off the state's coast near her San Francisco district and, after joining the Appropriations Committee, was an advocate of reinstating the coastal drilling ban through spending restrictions each year.
"We learned the hard way that oil and water do not mix on our coast," Pelosi told a key committee in 1996 as she made her case for keeping the ban in place before a Congress then controlled by Republicans.
Let us quickly examine Ms Pelosi's assertions that offshore drilling necessarily is detrimental to the environment. The last major off shore accident in America, and perhaps the world was in......1969. It was that very same Santa Barbara spill that so deeply disturbed the hippies of the day and admittedly caused the death of many birds, seals, etc.
So, was offshore drilling stopped?
There are 20 active wells in Santa Barbara. And there have been no further spills of measurable consequence caused by man.
None. But there is pollution. Lots. That is because the Santa Barbaba coast bleeds oil.
Natural seepage alone over a four-year period amounts to roughly the same amount of oil that spilled from the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska in 1989. He points out that a University of California, Santa Barbara study conducted in the mid-1990s shows that seepage around one of the nearby oil rigs known as Platform Holly dropped by more than 50% over 22 years as a result of production.
"If you expanded oil production, it's believed that you would have that same effect of reducing the seepage and reducing the pollution impact," Allen said. "That runs counter to a lot of people who do not want offshore oil production in other parts of the world as well as here, and they view it as a larger issue. But for central California residents, we view it as a local issue where we could see a reduction in the pollution and it's important to us.
If you walk the shoreline of Santa Barbara today, you will find tar balls in the water. The locals will confidently inform you that they are remnants of the 1969 spill. Pelosi likely thinks so also. But in fact, they are not. The seepage has been known since prehistoric times and is the reason Santa Barbara was first chosen for coastal wells, in the 1920's.
So where does offshore drilling stand, 40 years after the last large spill in America?
Well (pun intended).
Long Beach, California has 1,200 offshore oil wells, constructed on artificial islands. They seem less controversial, maybe because they are owned by Occidental Petroleum, famously associated with Al Gore.
Louisiana has about 130 rigs, many which are dozens of miles from shore. All of these rigs survived Katrina without damage. Some of these well are in 8,000 feet of water. Far beyond the few hundred feet of offshore Santa Barbara.
Canada has been placing wells off its East Coast since 1992. (Note to Pelosi: we share that coast.) and now has 4 or so major projects, including a recent one in the Grand Banks, an area that is one of the most important fisheries in the world.
Not a peep of protest from Pelosi.
In fact offshore drilling is everywhere. The North Sea fields, developed by American oilmen and riggers, using American technology, operates in the most difficult region to imagine, with deep wells in deep waters. No Problem.
Even Ireland has offshore drilling, for crying out loud. No problem. And with American proprietary horizontal drilling now reaching 8 miles, each well covers much more territory.
A catalog of the offshore fields around the world shows that the USA has been left behind.
Offshore Drilling Projects Worldwide
Nancy Pelosi, upon being named Speaker, infamously demanded that the Air Force provide her with a private jet larger and more luxurious than that of her predecessor. This woman of the people, who rides in a limousine at public expense--while she hoards her $20 Million--may actually have a motive other than her selfless desire to Save the Pelicans and the views of the rich celebrities that inhabit the Santa Barbara coastline.
In a private meeting last week, according to some in attendance, Pelosi told members of her leadership team that a decision to relent on the coastal ban would amount to capitulation to Republicans and the White House. She attributes today's energy problems to a failure of the Bush administration to develop a comprehensive approach, its ties to the industry and a mishandling of the economy.
There it is: the dolt would rather destroy the American economy, so as to shoulder President Bush with the blame, than do what is right.
PS. Note to Pelosi:
There is only one way out of an oil crisis: You drill your way out of it.
Which will it be?
* ridgeway company