As ordinary citizens and politicians yell and scream about the huge oil spill that continues to spew in the Gulf of Mexico, the most outspoken backer of drilling seems to have gone quiet. Aside from a few subdued blurbs and a comical jab at Obama for being tied to big oil companies, Sarah Palin seems to have finally stepped out of the limelight and into the crude, dark, oily shadows.
All through the McCain/Palin campaign for the White House, we were treated to her and her elder running mate's comments about oil drilling. In fact, it was Palin who coined the phrase "Drill Baby, Drill," during her political tour across the country. It became one of her many catchy, yet fairly hollow, phrases.
As gas prices at the pump climbed, many political insiders believe McCain hired Palin not only for her youthful energy and gender, but because she was an "energy expert." She immediately hit the trail demanding our vote because she and her partner would greatly lower the cost of gas by drilling everywhere we could – the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, off the coast of California, and off the coast of Florida.
She also drilled into us all that it was – and is – completely harmless to do so. "You even called environmentally friendly drilling offshore as 'raping' the outer continental shelf," she retorted to Joe Biden during the vice presidential debate. "With new technology and tiny footprints on land, it's safe to drill and we need to do more of that."
While rape may be a strong word – "pillage" is more apropos – I think it's safe to say Mr. Biden won that talking point. It may almost be two years later, but he sure nailed it on the head when he raised concern for the safety of offshore drilling.
After all, in this day and age of technology, it is a simple cracked pipe that continues to be the cause of the worst oil spill in US history. Twenty-five thousand gallons of crude oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico every day, all because of a so-called simple plumbing problem. Flora and fauna of the entire region are starting to die off, all due to "environmentally safe" drilling.
As BP, the government, and everyone in between scramble to find ways to stop this horrendous toxic spill, the rest of us are left wondering where the technology is that Mrs. Palin was talking about. If we don't find it soon, we may have to cover up the leak with her big mouth.