John wanted to do a big photo op on an oil rig in the gulf. He had devised a narrative and he wanted a big media event to go along with it. The GOP has for weeks been saying drilling was the answer to our oil addiction, which is akin to saying growing more tobacco is the cure for your lung cancer. They’ve also been pushing a talking point myth that Hurricane Katrina caused no major oil spills or damage to offshore rigs.

First a quick McCain flip flop which will set the stage quite well:

During his last run for the presidency, in 1999, McCain supported the drilling moratorium, and he scolded the “special interests in Washington” that sought offshore drilling leases. Yesterday, he announced that those very same “moratoria should be lifted” and proposed incentives for the states “in the form of tangible financial rewards, if the states decide to lift those moratoriums.”

McCain himself – now converted fully and completely from “maverick” to “he who carries wingnut water” has been holding the party line:

“[I]t’s safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage,”

“I’m aware that off the coast of Louisiana and Texas there are oil rigs, as we well know, and those rigs have survived, very successfully, the impacts of hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina, as far as Louisiana’s concerned,”

Well, as far as the truth is concerned Katrina caused plenty of damage AND oil spills:

The hurricanes totally destroyed 113 oil rigs, according to the government’s Minerals Management Service, and damaged 457 pipelines. The resulting oil spills were large enough to be seen from space, according to several reports.

So what of this photo op trip of John’s? Canceled due to a hurricane and a nearby oil spill.


(ht ThinkProgress)