The campaign mantra of “Drill, baby, drill” has morphed back into its 1960’s civil-rights antecedent of “Burn, baby, burn” as the Coast Guard OKs controlled fires to slow 5000 gallons of oil a day spewing from an exploded rig to menace wildlife and fishing industries along the Gulf Coast.
During the VP debate, Sarah Palin lectured Joe Biden when he minimized the importance of off-shore oil, “The chant is ‘drill, baby, drill.’ And that’s what we hear all across this country in our rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into.” Last year she wrote in an OpEd, “We can safely drill for US oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.”
Apparently not, as a Coast Guard admiral assesses the Gulf spill, “It’s premature to say this is catastrophic. I will say that this is very serious.”
Politicizing an ecological disaster might be unfair if it were not for indications that the current mess might have been avoided if Bush laissez-faire “Washington bureaucrats” had insisted that offshore rigs use a remote-control shutoff device mandated by Norway and Brazil.
But now the oil is spilling and fires are burning as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar kept track of the situation from Massachusetts where he was announcing approval of the nation’s first wind farm off the Cape Cod coast, which backers claim would “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 175,000 cars off the road.”