Republicans have wanted to open up the rest of America's protected lands to business exploitation since the idea of protected lands was first proposed. Currently they're trying to get the States to agree to allow off-shore oil drilling, on the premise that it will affect oil prices. It wont.
One of their primary talking points in this argument is that technology has progressed to the point where drilling offshore is no longer a spill waiting to happen. In fact, they say that not even Katrina was able to make any of these off-shore drilling platforms spring a leak! They repeat this every time they are on the TV talking about energy.
It wont surprise you to find that this is not true:
The oil pollution in the wake of Hurricane Katrina could be among the worst recorded in North America, officials trying to coordinate the clean-up say. The US coastguard, which is responsible for the marine environment, said yesterday more than 6.5 million gallons of crude oil had been spilt in at least seven major incidents. The previous worst spill in US waters was the 11m gallons in Alaskan waters from the Exxon Valdez in 1989.So, once again we see that the Republicans understand that the perceived reasonableness of a statement is directly correlated to the number of people saying it on TV. The Truth be damned, they know how to win elections.
"This is a major event," said Lieutenant Colonel Glynn Smith of the coastguard in New Orleans. "Things are going well, but three-quarters of the oil from the spills has not yet been recovered."
The figure does not include petrol and oil spilt from up to 250,000 cars which have been submerged, or that spilt from hundreds of petrol stations. The coastguard says it has received almost 400 reports of spills, the vast majority of which have not been assessed.