The McCain Campaign Lies About Offshore Drilling Again

08 August 2008

During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the offshore drilling drilling rigs we have in the Gulf of Mexico were severely damaged. In the end, these two hurricanes caused a total of 124 offshore oil spills, resulting in 743,700 gallons of spilt oil. Six of those spills were 42,000 gallons or greater.

And it's not just offshore spills. Louisiana and the Gulf Coast were hit hard by 595 onshore oil spills as well, causing approximately 9 million gallons of spilt oil. Particularly, the Bass Enterprise Cox Bay spill resulted in 3.78 million gallons of spilt oil, and the Murphy Oil spill resulted in 819,000 gallons of spilt oil (contaminating 1,700 homes and a local high school).

Koch Industries knows of the dangers of oil spills. In fact, the E.P.A. says that they have been responsible for 300 oil spills themselves. They have faced record fines for their environmentally careless practices. That is precisely why they decided to employ Nancy Pfotenhauer as their top lobbyist.

These days, however, Nancy Pfotenhauer has gone on to work for the John McCain (R-AZ) campaign. While there, she has said ridiculously untrue things, such as this:

When Senator McCain opposed lifting the ban in the past, it was because there were concerns about environmental capability. Like, could we do this and still maintain a pristine environmental um uh climate and and area around the drilling? And basically, what we’ve seen is the technology has progressed to the point where we could do that. We withstood Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and didn’t spill a drop.

This is quite simply a bald-faced lie. There is no other way of putting it.

But it's not just Nancy Pfotenhauer. John McCain has repeated this same lie.

"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."

Once again, it appears that McCain himself is lying.

Nor has Nancy Pfotenhauer stopped telling this lie, even after she had been called out on it in-person by David Shuster at MSNBC. This is what she recently had to say about the topic:

"And then there was a concern in the past about the technology. Did the technology exist, was it refined enough if you will, no pun intended, to be able to protect environmentally sensitive areas. And so — he’s been a conservationist all his life — he was concerned about that. And I think the things that have happened since then . . . [W]hen we survived Hurricane Katrina and Rita with no significant spills, I think that had a very powerful impact on his feeling about the technology."

Notice how she is careful to use the subjective word "significant" this time. That's pretty much the definition of "spin" (and some incredibly ridiculous spinning at that), and it's really laughable that McCain continues to walk around the country calling himself a straight-talker.

UPDATE: Here is a photo montage

UPDATE II: Rather than honestly discussing this issue, it appears that McCain has resolved to use television advertisements to paint Obama as some sort of wealthy elitist celebrity. This is the same McCain who comes from one of the wealthiest families in Arizona, who left his first wife to marry a millionaire heiress, who owns multiple homes, who paid $500 for a pair of shoes, who appeared on the show 24, who has hosted Saturday Night Live, and who has appeared in the movie Wedding Crashers. The man who graduated fifth from the bottom of his class, and who made it into the Senate propelled by his fame, is criticizing the son of a goat herder and a single mother, who used to live on food stamps, and who went to Harvard on scholarship. According to McCain, Obama is a wealthy elitist celebrity, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused no "significant" spillage.

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