It's hard to look at the pictures coming out of Louisiana.
As a native of the Bayou State (home of the NFL champion New Orleans Saints -- I just never miss an opportunity to say that), I used to watch guys named T. Bob and Blackie fish the wetland waters now poisoned with crude.
Oil drove the New Orleans economy of the 1970's. It built the New Orleans skyline with structures named The Amoco Building, One Shell Square and the Texaco Building. Now oil threatens to deliver a body blow to the fishing industry and tourism from Louisiana to Florida.
And at least in part, economic risk has turned gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman away from the "Drill Baby Drill" position. In an interview with the bloggers at Calbuzz, she said it has become clear to her that technology isn't where it needs to be to take the risk out of drilling:
"You look at what has happened in the Gulf, the economic devastation of the shrimpers, the fishermen. I mean you’re starting to see it now go on the north shore of the coast of Florida there, the hospitality industry is at risk. ... So I think it has absolutely raised the bar in terms of what we would need to feel comfortable with to go forward. So right now, I’m a no on offshore oil drilling."
Her opponent Steve Poizner was once a staunch opponent of offshore drilling. He too has changed his position from a few years ago, and now supports drilling from existing offshore platforms, citing California's and the country's need to wean itself away from foreign oil.
Jerry Brown's position is unwavering. He'd rather put the oil in his morning coffee than drill for it off the coast of California.
Am I the only one who sees more than a sliver of hypocrisy here? I can"t get to work on time because of the amount of fuel burning cars on the freeway. And I only use ONE! There are jammed freeways all over our state filled with drivers burning milllions of gallons of gasoline saying "no way" to drilling off California's coast.
Let the drilling and the risk to environment and economy happen somewhere else. But let's make sure that oil get here to power our economy.
And if you're keeping score, here's how the GOP Senate Candidates stand on the issue:
Fiorina - Drill Baby Drill;
Chuck Devore - Drillin' like a villain;
Tom Campbell - Let's be chilling on drilling. Just on land and the famous "slant" drilling philosophy from the coast.
As for Senator Boxer, she's been against it, and wants to ban drilling permanently. You know, I think T. Ben and Blackie might be reconsidering their position as well.