Offshore drilling, a staple in the anti-environment positions of the Republican—and now Democratic—Party, is seen by many analysts as merely a Band-Aid in the U.S. energy crisis.
Congressional Democrats seemed to have turned in their spine—yet again—Tuesday when they announced they would allow the 26-year-old ban on offshore drilling to expire, a resounding sellout to the rhetoric of the McCain campaign and a reactionary move aimed at accommodating the crisis-ridden financial markets.
John McCain’s campaign notched a little-noticed win today [Wednesday] as congressional Democrats agreed to allow the US government’s 26-year-old ban on oil drilling along the coastlines expire in six days.
The Democratic turnaround on coastal drilling marks a stark reversal after months of battling between Barack Obama, who relaxed his opposition to offshore oil rigs over the summer after furious prodding from McCain—himself a recent convert to the practice.
Although the drilling debate dominated the campaign dialog for much of last month, the McCain camp had little to say when Democrats announced late yesterday that their plan to fund the government until next spring would let the drilling ban expire.