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Washington Watch

Admitted Oil Addict George W. Bush Falls Off The Wagon

Attempt To Open Drilling Off The Coast Of Virginia Is An Obvious Cry For Help

In his last two State of the Union Addresses, the President dramatically (and correctly) noted that America was addicted to oil. This was good, because, as we all know, admitting you have a problem is the first step on the long road to recovery. And, once you admit your need for help, the next critical decision is to select a sponsor(s), the person/people who will provide the emotional support you need to stay sober.

Well, if Bush were in AA, he’d apparently pick Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker as his sponsor. When you’re addicted to oil and the American Petroleum Institute is your sponsor, well, you tend to say that you’ll give up oil…next year.

In the meantime, let’s party and get drilled! We can start by opening the Virginia coast and parts of the Gulf and Alaska coasts to offshore drilling. These areas have been off-limits since 1969, when a spill off the California coast dumped 3 million gallons of crude into the Pacific, devastating the local economy and ecosystems.

Interior Secretary and enabler Dirk Kempthorne, likes to focus on the positive aspects of drilling. Overall, the new drilling off Virginia and Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico could produce 10 billion barrels of oil over 40 years, Kempthorne said. This sounds like a lot, but the US consumes roughly 20 million barrels of oil per day. That means the oil extracted from these sites would only supply 500 days worth of oil at our current level of consumption. Where’s the president going to get his next fix next year? Clearly, Dirk Kempthorne isn’t “sponsor material”.

One method for dealing with addiction is switching from your original drug to a “less dangerous” drug. This is perilous, because the user can easily become addicted to the “less dangerous” drug (read: ethanol). Recent calls for huge agribusiness subsidies for corn growers would seem to indicate that the president is flirting with this method of addiction management. However, this method can only work if you aren’t still actively using the original drug. Sadly, this is not the case.

Sometimes, an addict needs tough love to serve as a reality check. In this case, the Democrat-led Congress will need to provide that “love”. The president needs Congress’ approval to lift the ban on drilling and open these areas for exploitation. Though many members of Congress are themselves addicts, it is unlikely that they will allow the president to backslide during this moment of weakness. Ultimately, George W. Bush, like all Americans, must deal with his addiction one day at a time.

12-Step Contest!

No, we’re not talking about country-style line dancing. The president (and the rest of the country, for that matter) needs your help! Send us your suggestions for a 12-step program to help America end its addiction to oil. We’ll publish our favorite submission in the next issue of Driving Change.