Monday, May 17, 2010

Drill Bits

Sarah Palin thinks we take too long to decide to drill off shore and worry too much about what might happen if something goes wrong.

“After inheriting a good pro-development GOP plan that opened up both coasts for drilling, the Obama administration halted development … and now we’re gonna study, more study of the South Atlantic and parts of the Gulf of Mexico … my goodness, folks, these areas have been studied to death … I have seen so many, many studies!

“I say, let’s send the White House this message: that, you know, we can save taxpayer time, save money and announce: there is oil and gas down there, and we can produce it safely and responsibly! We don’t need more studies, we need more action! Because energy produced in America is security for America, and it is jobs for American workers, jobs that can’t be outsourced. Let’s drill baby, drill, not stall, baby, stall!”

Based on her previous lack of interest in doing anything that would require actually reading something, I assume that when she says she has “seen so many, many studies”, she means she just saw those studies and didn’t actually read them. Or maybe she used them to prop up the broken leg on the rumpus room couch.

Since the rupture of the oil well in the Gulf more than three weeks ago, we’ve heard over and over again two contrasting memes: that every precaution was taken to prevent such an accident from happening — a statement that is not borne out by the facts — and that closing off the leak requires taking steps and trying measures that have never been attempted before. Now there’s a paradox for you: they’re using untried methods to stop something for which every precaution was taken. So clearly those “many, many studies” missed the possibility of a catastrophic failure at a depth of 5,000 feet and didn’t have a back-up plan in place that involved more than stuffing the hole with shredded tires and golf balls.

You would think that if this disaster was happening off the coast of Alaska, Ms. Palin would be a little less cavalier about throwing studies and caution to the wind, but then again, given her record as a half-term governor who quit because someone waved $12 million under her nose, it’s pretty clear that Ms. Palin didn’t really give a rat’s ass about Alaska in the first place.