Poor ol' John McCain just can't catch a break. Earlier this week he had grand plans to swing through New Orleans, visit Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a VP hopeful, and then fly out to an offshore oil rig in order to tout his much ballyhooed but seriously misguided plan for more offshore drilling. But it seems a higher power had other ideas for the latest stop on John McCain's Greatest Energy Misses Summer Tour.
First, a hurricane (albeit a smallish one) whipped up in the Gulf of Mexico and threatened to rain on McCain's parade. And then, improbably, as the Washington Post put it, a barge and a tanker collided on the Mississippi River, causing a 100 mile stretch of the river to be closed as over 400,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil spilled out and fumes wafted over the French Quarter.
Apparently the forecast for dead fish, poisoned drinking water, oil-covered birds, and tarry oil covering the river and coating its banks as far as the eye could see did not make for ideal conditions to peddle more dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. And thusly, McCain cited the weather, begged off, and proceeded to hole up in a German restaurant in Columbus to complain about Obama's speech to an adoring mass of 200,000 Berliners.
Since McCain has already taken his misbegotten road show to the sites of some our nation's greatest energy misses, we wonder if maybe next he'll stop by Three Mile Island or perhaps Alaska's Prince William Sound?
McCain's Greatest Energy Misses Summer 2008 Tour
1. Houston, Texas--June 17
McCain announced his flip-flop on offshore drilling and received a standing ovation from the Big Oil fat cats that have given over $5 million to his campaign and the Republican National Committee. A 1979 offshore well blowout in the Bay of Campeche spilled more than 126,000,000 gallons of oil--coating beaches in Texas and Mexico with crude.
2. Santa Barbara, California--June 24
McCain pushed his misguided offshore drilling plan at the site of a 1969 oil spill from an offshore well that coated the beaches of Santa Barbara with at least 3,234,000 gallons of oil.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada--June 25
John McCain went to Nevada to push his plans to build 100 new nuclear power plants and stick the residents of the state with more than 77,000 tons of highly dangerous nuclear waste at the unsafe and unproven Yucca Mountain site.
4. Louisiana--July 24 CANCELED
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in more than 9,000,000 gallons of oil being spilled off-shore and at related facilities onshore. Louisiana is also the site of the nation's largest ever offshore oil spill, the 1967 Humble Oil spill that spewed at least 6,726,000 gallons of oil from an undersea pipeline.
5. Prince William Sound, Alaska--???
The 1989 ExxonValdez disaster spilled 10,800,000 gallons of oil into the Pristine Waters of Prince William Sound. Mere months after the tragic spill, John McCain voted against requiring double-hull tankers. McCain also wants to appoint more Supreme Court justices like Alito and Roberts, who recently decided to cut ExxonMobil's punitive damages to just $500 million--the same amount the company paid former CEO Lee Raymond during his final year with the company.
6. Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania--???
Site of the nation's worst nuclear accident, 1979 partial meltdown of one of the station's two reactors. John McCain wants to build 100 new nuclear reactors, a plan that by utilities' own estimates could cost AT LEAST $1 TRILLION.
(For an act actually worth watching, take a look at Sierra Club head honcho Carl Pope's appearance on the Colbert Report this past Monday.)