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Emanuel Asks McCain to 'Clarify' Stance on Great Lakes Oil Drilling

By Michael D. Shear
Democrats are not about to let Sen. John McCain's support for offshore oil drilling go unnoticed.

In a letter to McCain, Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Chicago asks McCain to "clarify" his position on drilling in the Great Lakes, which, Emanuel points out, are bordered by "Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."

"As you are undoubtedly aware, in 2005 a bipartisan majority in Congress enacted a permanent ban on drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes," Emanuel wrote. "Drilling in the Great Lakes would adversely affect millions of Americans in the eight states that border these lakes, further endanger the ecological web and threaten the beauty of our shores."

He continues: "Seeing as you signed a pledge to preserve and restore the Great Lakes during your primary campaign, I hope your newfound stance on offshore drilling will not be followed by support for drilling in the Great Lakes."

McCain's position on drilling is actually to lift the federal ban, giving states the right to do what they want. Presumably, the states around the Great Lakes are not likely to drill anytime soon. But that is a distinction that Emanuel ignores in the letter.

In an interview, Emanuel said that he listed the states that surround the Great Lakes because "I just want to help, in case geography wasn't where he got an 'A.'" He said that 30 million people get their drinking water from the Great Lakes, and said that public
opinion is firmly against drilling.

Despite the ban on drilling in the Great Lakes, Canada allows drilling from its beaches into the oil reserves under the lakes, he said.



By Web Politics Editor  |  June 20, 2008; 2:11 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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Comments

The greatest source of oil in the world is not in shale anywhere, it is in conserving and using very efficiently the oil we already have.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Go ahead and drill. To hell with the impact of your beautiful coast lines.
You might see results in about 5 years. Much to late, but not to worry for our children will not be around to see the benefit. Man I hate blogs, copied and cut then pated to make the blogger look intelligent.
From Canada.

Posted by: justadad55+ | June 24, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Instead of defending their party, it would be such a breath of fresh air to hear debates purely on facts and logic. For those who don't accept that speculation is occuring, the same thing was said about power manipulation by Enron. It was later proved.

Posted by: rer2174 | June 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, what not just leave it up to each state to decide for themselves. And by "each state", I am referring to the people of those states, not the elected officials. Ballot measure is the only way to truly decide upon a matter so weighty. That said, I vote no for Florida. One ugly spill would cost more than the oil was worth to begin. The cost in fishing and lost tourism, not to mention the dangers to several truly unique ecosystems far outweigh the miniscule benefits of drilling off shore in our state.
But again, why should our President have any say in what is obviously a state issue?

Posted by: Ross Davis | June 23, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

May I ask a Canadian?
What is it Senator John McCain is planning? Offshore drilling, It will be not be of any benefit for a number of years. It's just a bit to late. Also today he will give anyone 300 million I believe, for a longer life battery for hybrid cars. Plus rebates to Americans who want to exchange there vehicles for an efficient one?? Where will these be built, Japan, china, Germany, Mexico? I still pledge $50.00 to aid our neighbors for life to help with all the natural Disasters you are suffering with. Still have not been given an address of a trust worthy Organization although I do donate $20 bucks a year to the Red Cross.
Also, please do not send any Presidential candidates to Canada. Decide on your own. They are not welcome in Canada, mind you speaking for myself, until you all make up your mind and un ravel the mess we are all in.

Posted by: Justadad55+ | June 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The largest known oil shale deposits in the world are in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable. For potentially recoverable oil shale resources, we roughly derive an upper bound of 1.1 trillion barrels of oil and a lower bound of about 500 billion barrels.

For policy planning purposes, it is enough to know that any amount in this range is very high. For example, the midpoint estimate range, 800 billion barrels, is more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, 800 billion barrels of recoverable resources would last for more than 400 years.

Posted by: Andy | June 22, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The Great Lakes are not covered by federal ban on drilling, since (1) the submerged lake land is owned by the adjoining states and not federal government; and (2) the off-shore ban is on the continental shelf, of which the Great Lakes of course are not a part of. Rahm is usually right on in his criticism, but off-base here and Shear should highlight these egregious errors.

Posted by: merganser | June 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

First, I wonder if there is much potential for oil and gas discoveries in the Great Lakes. If not, the whole issue is moot.

At any rate, Rahm Emanuel is the type of person who does everything for a political reason. He is trying to put John McCain on the spot in states that border the Great Lakes several of which are key battleground states.

But John McCain, who is actually doing things right for a change, can just cite that he will allow states the final authority on whether to allow drilling in their offshore areas.

The fact that Emanuel is pulling this kind of stunt shows that McCain must be making some headway with his call to end the federal ban on offshore drilling.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 21, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, considering Chicago Citizens have been using Oil pumped from the Coast out off Galveston, and South Padre here in Texas for Decades now;

I suggest the First Well be @ 100 Yards out off Lakeshore Drive! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 20, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama has taken the wrong stance on energy, taxes, and campaign finance. His sincerity, authenticity, and credibility are questionable. He will change more of his positions soon enough. Tragically, Obama wants to win so badly that he's starting to lose credibility with the people and the press.

Posted by: an observer | June 20, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama has taken the wrong stance on energy, taxes, and campaign finance. His sincerity, authenticity, and credibility are questionable. He will change more of his positions soon enough. Tragically, Obama wants to win so badly that he's starting to lose credibility with the people and the press.

Posted by: an observer | June 20, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

OR......... we could invade Mexico and take all their oil...and tequila.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | June 20, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Drill for oil everywhere even the Great Lakes. Get it all before the "Yellow Menace" does! Don't worry about clean air and clean water - under Chinese rule we would all be slaves. Remember, not drilling for oil is un-Americun and dangerererous- as was said by our fearless leader - Dubya.

It's all a commie plot.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | June 20, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we have to save the pristine waters of Lake Michigan for the lamprey,s.

Posted by: ZarDotZ | June 20, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Ok this is very simple. Put all the Oil fields back online that they capped off in the 80's. Then we start drilling in ANWAR were we can do it when it is frozen over. While we are doing all of these things we can work on the renewable energy. Also for all you those that dont want to see RIGS off the coast....GET READY because China and other countries are already getting ready to do just that. Right off our coast so do you really think they are going to follow the rules of drilling? If you do there is nothing anyone can say to change your mind on anything.You are just dumb and trade in your car for a horse and buggy.

Posted by: Mike | June 20, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't the press reported that ExxonMobil, Bp, and other American Oil Companies are going to begin taking over the Oil in Iraq? Is this why John McCain has said he would stay in Iraq 100 years?
Also, is this why we are building bases in Iraq to protect our oil for the big GUYS in the White House? McCain has many oil people on his staff and many oil people raising money for him.

Posted by: Mel | June 20, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

A few months ago, the Saudis agreed to increase production by 500,000 bls a day. The price of crude has increased since they started shipping more. The law of supply and demand doesn't explain this.
The U.S. has less than 5% of the World's known oil reserves and uses almost 25% of the oil. Do the math. We can barely move the world supply needle by drilling everywhere. If the Saudis can bring the price down, we have no chance. All of the oil we produce is sold on the GLOBAL oil market which means we would get, at best if we were willing to pay for it, 25% of the oil we produce and maybe less since China and India are buying oil like drunken sailors buy beer. China especially will bid up the price because they need it to modernize or risk social unrest. If we all drove 55 MPH for one year, it would save more gas than could be made from all the known reserves in ANWAR.
The upside to this problem is all in using less fossil fuel, not more.

Posted by: gomer | June 20, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Report this....Today...John McCain is one day OLDER

Posted by: drivensnow | June 20, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

robert g wrote:

"Who ever supports drilling has my vote. Face it, not drilling has done nothing to lower oil prices and reduce or dependence of foreign oil. So lets drill anywhere and everywhere. Even if it mean paving over ANWR with 6ft of concrete. It's time to stop listening to the lies from the environmentalist. That is what has gotten us into this mess."
_________________

Whomever opposes this COMPLETELY pointless drilling has my vote.

The oil industries are already sitting on 68,000,000 acres of government land they are not using, and this oh-so-urgent nonsense just makes it crystal clear that Bush's engergy "policy" is written by oil executives, vampires who only want more $$$ by raping and pillaging the American people, destoying the planet in the process.

In the YEARS it would take to expore and extract whatever relatively tiny amount of oil exists in these protected areas, we could take leaps and bounds towards weening ourselves off oil FOREVER. It's time to start changing our infrastructure and lifestyle choices instead of chasing the oil dragon into the next century.

But thanks for highlighting how ignorant and naive a certain segment of the US population is. You'd rather believe the lies of oil executives than scientific facts. It's really sad and says a lot about the state of education and the media in this country.

NO MORE DRILLING!

Posted by: sequoia | June 20, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well I hit the wrong key there. 9 states. (I always make sure my kids remember that up there to the north is a polite, reliable, functioning, democracy, and as friendly a neighbor as anyone ever wanted.)

Posted by: ceflynline@msn,com | June 20, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

THIS DRILLING ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING TO CHANGE THE OIL PRICES AND DEFINATELY NOT GOING TO SAVE US FROM GLOBAL WARMING. IT WILL TAKE ATLEAST 5 TO 10 YEARS BEFORE WE SEE ANY OF THIS OIL SO WHY SHOULD WE RUIN OUR OCEANS AND LAKES TAKING A CHANCE WHEN WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OT INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND STOP USING OIL THE POLLUTES THE AIR AND ENHANCES GLOBAL WARMING. THIS IS WHAT MCCAIN SAID HE WAS GOING TO DO BEFORE HE STARTED PANDERING TO THE RADICAL RIGHT WING REPUBLICANS. THE RADICAL RIGHT HAS BEEN PRESSURING HIM FOR MONTHS TO CHANGE HIS POSITION, THEY FINALLY SUCCEEDED. I SAY WE LEAVE OUR OCEANS AND LAKES ALONE AND INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY BECAUSE IT WOULD TAKES AS MUCH TIME TO INVEST AND DO BOTH. WHY TAKE A CHANGE WITH DESTROYING OUR OCEANS AND LAKES.

Posted by: BARRY | June 20, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

THIS DRILLING ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING TO CHANGE THE OIL PRICES AND DEFINATELY NOT GOING TO SAVE US FROM GLOBAL WARMING. IT WILL TAKE ATLEAST 5 TO 10 YEARS BEFORE WE SEE ANY OF THIS OIL SO WHY SHOULD WE RUIN OUR OCEANS AND LAKES TAKING A CHANCE WHEN WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OT INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND STOP USING OIL THE POLLUTES THE AIR AND ENHANCES GLOBAL WARMING. THIS IS WHAT MCCAIN SAID HE WAS GOING TO DO BEFORE HE STARTED PANDERING TO THE RADICAL RIGHT WING REPUBLICANS. THE RADICAL RIGHT HAS BEEN PRESSURING HIM FOR MONTHS TO CHANGE HIS POSITION, THEY FINALLY SUCCEEDED. I SAY WE LEAVE OUR OCEANS AND LAKES ALONE AND INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY BECAUSE IT WOULD TAKES AS MUCH TIME TO INVEST AND DO BOTH. WHY TAKE A CHANGE WITH DESTROYING OUR OCEANS AND LAKES.

Posted by: BARRY | June 20, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Six States, thank you. Only five of them vote for President, but I can assure you that our neighbors to the North, Ontario, Canada, will be a bit unhappy if we pollute THEIR rather pretty lake shores.

On, and the Quebecois, and the Maritimers might not like big crude slicks slithering down the St Lawrence River at them either.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | June 20, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Who ever supports drilling has my vote. Face it, not drilling has done nothing to lower oil prices and reduce or dependence of foreign oil. So lets drill anywhere and everywhere. Even if it mean paving over ANWR with 6ft of concrete. It's time to stop listening to the lies from the environmentalist. That is what has gotten us into this mess.

Posted by: robert g | June 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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