09/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Don't Cry Over Spilled Oil: McCain's Drilling Rig Do-Over

After being forced to cancel last month's trip to an offshore oil rig due to a massive oil spill that closed 100 miles of the Mississippi River and caused billions in economic activity to come to a halt, McCain this week finally realized his dream of evangelizing about his no holds barred drilling plan on an actual drilling rig.


This visit comes just over a week before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, during which John McCain and George Bush famously celebrated McCain's birthday as the storm ravaged New Orleans. Just this past April 24, McCain said we "need to have a conversation about what to do" about the lower 9th ward, including maybe "tear[ing] it down."

Whether it's because of the 30 or so oil industry lobbyists working on his campaign or the more than $2 million in campaign cash from Big Oil, McCain is determined to push his drill here, drill there, drill everywhere plan--and he's not letting the facts get in the way. Just like last week when Senator McCain lied when asked about his voting record on energy, he and his campaign continue to repeat widely discredited mistruths about offshore drilling.

John McCain's Offshore Drilling Myths and Mistruths

1. John McCain says: "Drill here, drill now" and it will lower gas prices.

The Bush Administration says: Offshore drilling will have an "insignificant" impact on oil prices--in the year 2030, and will do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices, today, tomorrow, or two decades from now.
The House Natural Resources Committee says: From 1999-2007, permits for drilling offshore and our public lands "increased by more than 361 percent, yet gasoline prices have also risen dramatically. There is simply no correlation between the two."

2. John McCain says: We need to allow Big Oil to begin the "exploration and exploitation" of our coasts to make us more energy independent.

T. Boone Pickens says: "This is one problem we can't drill our way out of."
The Minerals Management Service says: 82 percent of the natural gas and 79 percent of the oil located offshore is in areas that are already open to leasing.

3. John McCain says: "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." 7/18/08

The Minerals Management Service says: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita totally destroyed 113 offshore oil platforms.

4. John McCain says: "As for offshore drilling, it's safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage."--Houston, 6/17/08. Watch it:

Oil lobbyist and McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer says: "We withstood Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and didn't spill a drop." MSNBC, 07/14/08. Watch it:

The U.S. Coast Guard says: Hurricanes Rita and Katrina caused over 9,000,000 gallons of oil to be spilled.

5. John McCain says: "I've talked to the actual people that do the work, that are in the business that say within months and certainly within a very short time, we could have additional oil supply for this nation. So we ought to drill now." 08/1/08. Watch it:

The American Petroleum Institute says: It would take 7-10 years for any new oil to be produced. -McClatchy News, "McCain's call for offshore drilling won't bring relief soon," 6/18/08.