Religion, politics and unpleasant ways to die are very popular topics of conversation for my family. While we can almost all agree on the most unpleasant ways to die, when it comes to religion and politics, opinions are vastly different. Here is one relative’s response to an email that went out poking fun at gas prices under Clinton/Gore and Bush/Cheney: “Research the facts before sending out political emails: That’s right – get out and vote – vote Republican because the democratic congress has gotten us into this situation They did not allow nuclear plants to be built. They did not allow offshore drilling. They listened to the environmental wackos and did not allow drilling in Alaska. One final point – the recession started during the Clinton/Gore administration NOT the Bush/Cheney administration. They inherited this mess from them.” Oooo….there are oodles of reguritated Faux News misinformation in this response so lets break this one down bit by bit. “They did not allow nuclear plants to be built.” I have three words for you… Three Mile Island . I have one more word for you… Chernobyl . When properly run and maintained nuclear power plants are not particularly harmful to the environment. However , one only has to look at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to see what can happen when reactors have problems. Not to mention the fact that the storage and disposal of radioactive waste has proved to be a significant challenge. So excuse me if I’m not too keen on the idea of nuclear power. “They did not allow offshore drilling.” Offshore oil production involves environmental risks, most notably oil spills from oil tankers transporting oil from the platform to onshore facilities, from pipelines doing the same, and from leaks and accidents on the platform.1 There is also the impact of produced water, which is excess water from well drilling or production and which contain varying amounts of oil, drilling fluid or other chemicals used in or resulting from oil production. The platform is typically given an allowed quota of produced water that can be emptied in the ocean. According to the organization Culture Change,2 a Gulf of Mexico rig dumps about 90.000 tons of drilling fluid and metal cuttings over its lifetime, with its wells also contributing with heavy metals. The platforms themselves also present a problem when discontinued. Not to mention the fact that in a report issued by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency: “Access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017.” 1. ^ (2008). Debate Over Offshore Drilling. CBS News.
2. ^ “Committee Against Oil Exploration”. www.culturechange.org (2007). “They listened to the environmental wackos and did not allow drilling in Alaska.” Environmental wackos? Nice. I’m sorry some of us care whether or not we have a habitable planet for future generations. We don’t all selfishly live in the now, caring only about ourselves. But that aside… Drilling in Alaska’ ANWR would not have any impact on current oil prices. The US consumption of oil and petroleum in 2006 and 2007 was 15.1 billion barrels . They estimate that ANWR only contains a 10.4 billion barrels . It’s not even enough for 2 years. “The recession started during the Clinton/Gore administration NOT the Bush/Cheney administration.” According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which is the private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization charged with determining economic recessions, the U.S. economy was in recession from March 2001 to November 2001, a period of eight months. Instead of using the accepted start date of March 2001, President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers (hand-picked by the president) announced that the recession really started in the fourth quarter of 2000 — a shift that would make it much more credible for the Bush administration to term it the “Clinton Recession.” How convenient. Under Clinton, more than 3 million new jobs were added to the economy in 1999 alone. In 2000, almost two million new jobs were created. In contrast, during Bush’s presidency, about 1.8 million jobs were lost in 2001. Five hundred thousand jobs were lost in 2002. And 61,000 jobs were lost in 2003.
I will get out and vote, but I sure as hell won’t be voting Republican.