***Updated with President Obama video.
At a press conference on Thursday Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, California Democrats, along with Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington Democrat, and Senator Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democrat, presented legislation calling for a permanent ban on oil drilling off the West Coast. Democratic Senators Patty Murray of Washington and Ron Wyden of Oregon, while absent at today’s presser, are also part of the coalition, according to Senator Boxer.
Before showing pictures of oils soaked wildlife as a result of the BP oil spill, Ms. Boxer explained the legislation saying this bill would ensure that “there will never be offshore oil gas drilling off the west coast of our nation.”
While President Obama placed an executive order on West Coast drilling until 2017, the six Democratic Senators’ legislation goes further.
“We know very clearly that that moratorium is dependent on his presidency, his being there, and that there is no permanent protection for us. This is our only route to go,” said Senator Boxer, Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
I later asked Senator Boxer, given California’s recent history of brown outs and black outs, what kind reliable energy could Californians rely on if she is looking to eradicate the oil industry on the West Coast? The green energy industry is too intermittent and why not consider nuclear energy instead? “If all of the people in the country for 25 days had the proper tire pressure in their cars you would replace all of the oil,” she said. “There is…this is such a little bit of oil in this area only enough to power the country for, you know, a year or so. So 25 days of people doing the proper pressure would replace it.”
Senator Boxer’s energy saving tire pressure cheking solution here is nothing new. President Obama, when he was on the campaign trail, threw it out there as well (video below) Ed Morrissey at Hot Air writes about it:
OBAMA: There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!
MORRISSEY: Er, no it couldn’t. The Green River oil shale formation could produce at least 800 billion barrels of oil alone, enough for over 100 years at our current rate of consumption (20 million barrels per day). Would inflating our tires eliminate every single drop of oil we use? Of course not! Nor would it save any significant amount at all. Tire inflation could improve gas mileage by about 3%, which would relate to about 600,000 barrels of oil a day at the most absurdly optimistic extrapolation.
Another California solution: Don’t pump oil off the West coast…just pump the right amount of air into your tires. While that could make for a catchy slogan, people still want reliable, non-intermittent (read: not green energy), inexpensive energy solutions. Eradicating yet another energy option from the American people is just another way of reigning them in.