But this is what makes rational discussion of the issue so difficult: Big Oil's willingness to lie right in Virginians' faces about the realities of drilling. Here's what the Heartland Institute, which admitted to taking more than half a million dollars from ExxonMobil before it stopped revealing its funders, is telling Californians about coastal drilling:
Offshore oil drilling has a proven track record as a safe and effective means of acquiring energy. Oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico weathered hurricanes Katrina and Rita with little or no spillage, according to the National Ocean Industries Association.The "National Ocean Industries Association" is yet another industry front group that joined ExxonMobil to fund one of the worst global warming denier groups ever. So one polluter front group is quoting a lie from another polluter front group that Katrina and Rita caused no spills.
What does the actual historical record tell us? Just check this actual headline from 2005: "Katrina oil spills may be among worst on record." Considering Virginia is right in the line of fire every hurricane season, this is a huge worry.
But that's far from the biggest doozy:
Drilling would help clean up the coastline. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 60 percent of the oil found in the North American marine environment comes from natural seepage through the ocean floor. Only 1 percent comes from offshore oil and gas development. Drilling and removal of oil allows for less natural seepage, hence cleaner beaches and a cleaner marine environment.Here's the problem: natural seepage happens in tiny amounts over long periods of time, while man-made spills happen all at once and in large quantities.
Let's do a visual demonstration. Natural seepage:
Now the man-made version:
With absolutely outrageous lies like this, how can we believe anything Big Oil tells us about the dangers of offshore drilling or how much revenue we could expect from it? ExxonMobil will spill oil on your leg and tell you it's raining.
Unfortunately, neither Creigh Deeds nor Bob McDonnell sound willing to take the tough stand against Big Oil. Expect to hear more questionable forecasts of black rain for the next four years.