Thursday | May 30, 2002
Saving the Everglades, saving brother Gov.
Pres. Bush announced a plan to buy back energy drilling rights off the shore of Florida and in the Everglades.
Environmentally, the deal is great. But politically, it's as cynical as they come. In one fell swoop, Bush boosted his brother's re-election bid as well as his own presidential chances in 2004. So after months of trying to use "national defense" as an excuse to drill in Alaska's Artic National Wildlife Refuge, Bush turns around and takes a sizable chunk of the nation's natural gas off the table.
How to rationalize the decision? The Bushies claim there is a big difference -- Florida's citizens didn't want any drilling in the environmentally sensitive areas, while Alaska's citizens do. This excuse has drawn scoffs in the press, but I don't think it's a bad rationalization. So long as Bush is consistent:
California officals are already demanding Bush end a fight over undeveloped offshore oil and gas leases off its coast. As Gov. Davis' spokesperson said, "What's good for Florida certainly is good for California." Polls in California have consistently shown public opposition to offshore drilling. Thus, by Bush's own logic, the feds should step in and buy back the leases.
However, California is a lost cause for Bush and the national Republican party. Thus, expect to see all sorts of tortured rationalizations as to how California and Florida are different.Posted May 30, 2002 05:36 PM | Comments (0)