I’m not convinced that Obama’s adjustment on his offshore drilling position is a mistake. Maybe, maybe not. I know it’s simply an adjustment to a prevailing view that an announced U.S. intention to drill the continental shelf for fresh oil may spur a reduction inf foreign-oil prices, and that politicians (a group of operators that — hello? — Obama belongs to) sometimes come to these realizations for the sake of realpolitik. Either way McCain can’t zap Obama for flip-flopping because he did the same thing in June.
An NPR report from late June reminds that McCain “this week called for an end to the federal ban on offshore drilling. The Arizona senator wasn’t flip-flopping, says senior campaign adviser Charlie Black, [but] acknowledging the ‘great crisis in energy’ facing the country.
“Just a month ago, when McCain was asked about offshore drilling during a campaign stop in Wisconsin, the presumptive Republican nominee noted that such resources would take years to develop, and that the U.S. should instead focus on alternative energy sources. Black says McCain’s new stance represents weeks of talks with policy advisers on how to bring energy security and energy independence to the U.S.
“‘So it’s not a change in his position as much as a new challenge to America,’ Black says.”
“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama told the Palm Beach Post‘s Michael C. Bender. “If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”