09/19/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Makes Energy Promise Impossible To Keep

John McCain trooped out to another oil rig today, looking for a future Fortress of Solitude where he can spend his next gas tax holiday, in his Cone of Silence. Apparently, his proximity to international waters has a measurable effect on all that "Straight Talk" we hear so much about, because he continued his practice of offering up unkeepable promises:

MCCAIN: Our nation is sending $700 billion overseas every year to countries that don't like us very much. When I'm president that's going to stop. We're going to achieve energy independence, and we're going to do it by using every resource at our disposal to get the job done, including new offshore drilling.

But if there's one thing that's plainly clear, it's that oil importation is not going to stop during a potential McCain presidency through new offshore drilling. As the DNC points out, "it took 10 years from the date oil was discovered until the rig [McCain stood] on today produced a single drop of oil."

The nonpartisan Energy Information Association agrees:

The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017. Total domestic production of crude oil from 2012 through 2030 in the OCS access case is projected to be 1.6 percent higher than in the reference case, and 3 percent higher in 2030 alone, at 5.6 million barrels per day. For the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher--2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case (Figure 20). Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.