Push for oil drilling a ‘head fake’

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When an oilman and environmentalists agree-you know the momentum for real change is building. Yet that is just what is happening.

In Denver this week, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens and Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope talked about the Pickens Plan, which calls for huge increases in investment and production of wind power and using American natural gas as a transition. In a recent ad publicizing the plan, Pickens says the current debate over drilling “misses the point.” I concur.

The current political emphasis on whether or not to open up more of the coastline to drilling is a distraction, a “head fake.” Pickens, who’s made billions from oil, believes the Bush administration is wildly exaggerating how much oil can be found offshore and in Alaska. There are already millions of on-shore acres designated for oil companies to drill in, which they to date have left undrilled. The failed policies of the past won’t move us forward. True economic opportunity for all Americans is in clean energy technologies like wind and solar. Even T. Boone Pickens understands that-the question is when will our leaders in Washington?

We in Malibu have to be particularly vigilant as we will dearly pay the price, in viewsheds, property values, air pollution and marine life impacts and potential environmental disasters as happened to Santa Barbara if oil wells loom off our shoreline.

Tom Molloy