ANNCR: Gas prices - $4, $5, no end in sight, because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America.
No to independence from foreign oil.
Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?
CHANT: Obama, Obama
ANNCR: One man knows we must now drill more in America and rescue our family budgets.
Don't hope for more energy, vote for it. McCain.
JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
I spent Netroots Nation obsessed with gas prices, chatting with various operatives and politicians about polling on the subject. The best framing came from Van Jones, who said that we can't 'drill and burn' our way out of this problem. The public is there with us; they don't believe that gas prices are coming down, even if we open everything to oil company leases. Yet the public - even liberals - supports drilling anyway for three reasons.
Calling for drilling looks like leadership. Someone is doing something, finally.
Calling for drilling is understandable. Put drill in ground, oil comes out.
Calling for drilling has an enemy, the environmentalists.
I don't think McCain's attack will work on Obama, since it is saying something that Americans fundamentally don't believe. The ad suggests that prices are rising because of insufficient drilling, and that more drilling will lower prices. That isn't true, and polling suggests people know it isn't true. An ad that says something along the lines of 'this isn't a total solution, but it's a start' would be much more credible as an attack on Obama.
The energy question is the question of our generation. If you drilled everything there is in the US tomorrow and oil started coming out of the ground tomorrow, gas prices would drop by about three cents. Gas prices went up one cent a day last month. Van Jones made the following critical point about the oil economy versus the renewable economy: When more people use oil, the price goes up. When more people use solar, the price goes down.
The environmentalists have their big moment right now, and it's time to begin organizing around a new economy. There's a lot of education to do on energy.