With Hurricane Dolly, McCain May Have To Back Off On Offshore Drilling
As Sen. John McCain continues to tout offshore drilling — and others in Congress start to jump on the bandwagon — he’s found it necessary to downplay the threat of oil spills, even in the face of powerful hurricanes. There’s something ironic, then, about Hurricane Dolly hitting this week.
McCain was scheduled to make another offshore drilling push at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico today, but the Category 2 storm changed his plans. Dolly has forced energy companies to evacuate some oil rigs and cut oil and gas production in the Gulf by 4.7 percent.
In a recent speech, McCain said, "As for offshore drilling, it’s safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston."
Unfortunately, that’s not true. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in huge oil spills when 113 oil rigs were destroyed and 457 pipelines were damaged, according to government data. There were also smaller storms in 2005 that resulted in 146 small oil spills in federal waters.
For more on Hurricane Dolly’s activity right now, Dot Earth has some good analysis and pictures.