Preview of Tom Friedman's thinking for his new book - Hot, Flat and Crowded. Killer quote (emphasis added):
FP: And what about drilling? Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin, and President George W. Bush are implying that lifting environmental restrictions on drilling is the way to promote energy independence.
TF: Well, I think it’s patent nonsense. No one believes that somehow offshore, there’s enough oil in any near term and even the long term to provide us oil independence. It’s the wrong approach because in a world that’s hot, flat, and crowded, fossil fuels—and particularly crude oil—are going to be expensive and exhausting. Therefore the focus should be on the next great global industry: clean energy technology. When I hear McCain pounding the table for “drill, drill, drill,” it reminds me of someone pounding the table for IBM Selectric typewriters on the eve of the IT revolution.
I’m not against offshore drilling, by the way, because I believe the technology and the safety has improved far beyond where it was back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, even. What I’m against is making it the centerpiece of our energy policy. If all McCain said was, “Let’s drill, but let’s also throw everything into innovating the next generation of clean-energy technologies,” I’d say, “You’ve got it exactly right, pal.”