Straight Talk - Part VII

19 July 2008

Recently, John McCain has been going around and saying things like this:

"As for offshore drilling, it’s safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston."

Here is the video:

But it's not just John McCain. This has been a popular myth, reverberating in the echo chamber lately:

Notice especially how McCain's campaign adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer (who, incidentally, was the top lobbyist for Koch Industries) says that "We withstood Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and didn’t spill a drop."

This is quite simply a bald-faced lie, designed to promote McCain's off-shore drilling plan (which will do nothing whatsoever to gas prices, and will only marginally divert oil profits from Canadian to American companies - and not even that will happen for another decade). Either that, or McCain heard it from one of his oil-lobbyist campaign advisers and simply repeated it as truth (which is equally troubling, since McCain isn't very smart and these are the people who are responsible for designing his policy proposals for him).

In reality, as some of us remember, there were plenty of oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico during Katrina and Rita. Here is a satellite picture of one:

In fact, the Minerals Management Service wrote an entire report on the damage that was done (read it here). Among the findings:

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Caused 124 Offshore Spills For A Total Of
743,700 Gallons. 554,400 gallons were crude oil and condensate from platforms, rigs and pipelines, and 189,000 gallons were refined products from platforms and rigs. [MMS, 1/22/07]

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Caused Six Offshore Spills Of 42,000 Gallons Or Greater. The largest of these was 152,250 gallons, well over the 100,000 gallon threshold considered a “major spill.” [MMS, 5/1/06]

When will the news networks pick up on this and label McCain a liar? The media was all over Al Gore back in 2000 (for some statements they willfully misinterpreted as lies), yet McCain gets treated like some sort of "straight-talk" maverick.

UPDATE: Is anybody surprised by this:
"Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain
last month -- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for
an end to the ban -- compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and
$208,000 in May."

Part I: "I'm the only one the special interests don't give money to." False.
Part II: "Every time in history we have raised taxes it has cut revenues." False.
Part III: "Romney provided taxpayer-funded abortions." Highly misleading.
Part IV: "Iran[] taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back." Unsupported.
Part V: "We have drawn down to pre-surge levels" False.
Part VI: "Saddam Hussein is on a crash course to construct a nuclear weapon." False.

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