BANANA in Your Pocket Mel? Or Just Glad to See Me…

As the token resident treehuggingGreenpeacer/embracerofallthingsMiddleEarth/pinkocommieliberal, I feel compelled by the forces of fairness and logic (in my world, two mutually exclusive terms) to break with my earth mother principles. I noticed the other day, after the cats ‘n dogs, back and forth ANWR brouhaha, that

Minutes after the 51-49 vote, Martinez* announced that the Bush administration had agreed to respect the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida’s coast until 2012.

I felt a little twinge of guilt and read the story. It makes wonderful PR for the new guy, because Florida is the latest adherent to the BANANA or Build Absolutely Nothing Absolutely Near Anything Principle (California having pioneered and perfected the stragedy**), of course everybody loves a manly ‘“I wanted to make sure that my vote for ANWR would in no way weaken Florida’s protection from offshore drilling, but indeed would strengthen it,” Martinez said‘ kinda sound bite and those oil rigs off the coast of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi do look like shit and our beaches are white, for God’s sake…
But I put gas in my car, too. As a matter of fact, Florida uses one helluva alot of gas.
*Update: Exactly the sort of refinery accident I spoke about, but oh my gosh, how awful!
**Sheesh, I can predict the future…from CNBC
But with gasoline futures still hovering near record levels, following an explosion at one of BP’s largest refineries that heightened fears about available supplies heading into the peak summer driving season, stocks have failed to move aggressively higher

For shits and giggles, in 2001 FL used 181,063 thousand barrels*** of gasoline alone, while among our rigged out neighbors, AL used a paltry 57,718, MS 36,481 and LA 53,482 (although granted, they are a third world country~well, New Orleans anyway). Those three states combined totaled a full 33K+ thousand barrels less than us Sunshine Staters alone.
So when do we start to pay our share? The numbers of SUV driving caribou are growing less with every passing year. We need to stop beating up on the few wild places left in this country and states that have viable reserves ~but have had a pass due to vocal citizenry and large voting blocks~ need to step up to the plate. Either with drilling somewhere near where somebody lives (although the plan hammered out sounds very generous indeed ~ a drilling moratorium extends 100 miles from shore ~ which puts us out ahead of AL/LA/MS ’cause you can see their rigs from the beach) or building a refinery. (GASP! Yes, on a family friendly site, the ‘R‘ word.) Seeing as how there hasn’t been a new one built since 197freakin’6 in this country, all the whale blubber/polarbear/manatee oil in the world won’t save you if you can’t convert it to petrol. It only takes one wild-eyed homegrown to disrupt the whole thing, let alone someone with a ‘plan’. Hell, the refineries are falling down around themselves as it is. (Even I don’t have a car that old!)
Now, am I abdicating my pristine sugarsands and my son’s future here? No, because I will be at every public meeting, read every news report and be arrested out front of the DOE/Florida Department of Environmental protection in a whale costume if there’s the teeniest taint of compromise in the standards of execution. Knowledge and activism is my responsibility as a taxpayer. I can’t point a finger if I haven’t participated.
And holy crap! With perpetual scholar Ebola living off the fat of the hand, I can’t afford not to.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for Mel Martinez, but only because Betty Castor was a shrieky…well, never mind. (If it had been Bill McCollum running, I would have voted for Elvis before I voted for him.)
**HatTip:Bugs Bunny
***Check out those .gov sites ~ they’re pretty cool and, like, we pay for them, eh?

8 Responses to “BANANA in Your Pocket Mel? Or Just Glad to See Me…”

  1. Dave J says:

    “In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for Mel Martinez, but only because Betty Castor was a shrieky…well, never mind. (If it had been Bill McCollum running, I would have voted for Elvis before I voted for him.)”
    Funny, I voted for McCollum in the GOP primary. Martinez comes off as a likeable dimwit: he’s in way over his head in the Senate.

  2. I can’t stand McCollum. He seems to be cut from the same smug, sanctimonious, hateful cloth as John Ashcroft and his ilk. Makes my skin crawl.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    Actually, the Sunshine state is pretty good on a per capita basis, using estimated 2003 population levels:
    FL 10.64/per
    LA 11.97/per
    MS 12.66/per
    AL 12.82/per
    (NJ comes in at 10.82)
    (CA comes in at 9.84, but they consume a whopping 351,981,000 barrels. Yowza!)

  4. Hmmm, true, but I might also attribute that to the fact there’s alot of rural driving going on in MS etc. (I’m not stereotyping now, okay?) And NJ has some stinky old refineries, if I rememember those childhood treks to the airport with any accuracy.

  5. Mr. Bingley says:

    Sadly, we have no where near as many rusty barrel gardens as we used to.
    A pox on you, superfund!

  6. Bill McCabe says:

    They were part of the character of our state. Damn meddling politicians.

  7. Mr. Bingley says:

    Remeber the Bayonne Barrel Corporation, Bill? I remember when they had that fire…55 gallon roman candles shooting skyward! Woo-hoo!

  8. Nightfly says:

    Something like that just happened in Texas yesterday. They say that terrorism is “not a primary focus of the investigation.” Like hell it isn’t – although I’m glad that, if it really is, they aren’t saying so, because you don’t want the bad guys catching wise to you. That’s how you get the big roundup of fifty clueless would-be self-immolators.

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