What a concept, a “reality-based” Republican, someone whose mind can actually be changed by powerful new evidence. In this case, Schwarzenegger says:
All of you have seen, when you turn on the television, the devastation in the Gulf, and I’m sure that they also were assured that it was safe to drill. I see on TV the birds drenched in oil, the fishermen out of work, the massive oil spill and oil slick destroying our precious ecosystem. That will not happen here in California, and this is why I am withdrawing my support for the T-Ridge project.
In stark contrast, our own governor, ideologue and oil industry tool Bob McDonnell, “continues to lobby aggressively to drill for oil and natural gas without delay.” The contrast between Ah-nuld and Pat Robertson’s Manchurian Candidate could not be greater, and it really says it all about Bob McDonnell.
P.S. Add Florida Governor Charlie Crist to the list of sane Republicans, as he “declared the issue of drilling off the Florida coast effectively dead Monday as he monitored the latest news surrounding an oil spill caused by an explosion on a BP rig last month.”
UPDATE: See the DPVA’s statement, “Governor McDonnell: Drilling at any cost,” after the “flip.”
The Democratic Party of Virginia is calling on Governor McDonnell to support President Obama’s call to delay any new offshore drilling projects until a full understanding of the causes of this most recent disaster can be determined. Both of Virginia’s United States Senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, have made it clear that they support the President’s decision, and expect any lessons learned from the Gulf tragedy to be incorporated into federal regulations that would govern offshore energy production off Virginia’s coast. Yet Governor McDonnell continues to declare unrealistic goals for when drilling should begin and he appears to ignore the safety and environmental considerations that the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has brought to light.
“Some Virginia leaders are reconsidering their support for drilling off the state’s coast after a fatal well accident in the Gulf of Mexico, even as Gov. Robert F. McDonnell continues to lobby aggressively to drill for oil and natural gas without delay,” the Washington Post reported today. “McDonnell (R), who has made drilling off Virginia’s coast one of his administration’s top priorities, flew to Houston on Monday to tout the benefits of offshore drilling at an industry-sponsored conference.” [Va. officials reconsider support for drilling after gulf oil accident, Washington Post, Tuesday, May 4, 2010; A10]
And in an interview on WTOP Radio on April 27, Governor McDonnell stated, “This is certainly a setback, but I certainly continue to be dedicated to making us first to drill, 2012 at the latest, and over the next couple years these safety and environmental issues will be addressed.”
“Governor McDonnell’s misplaced priorities have struck again – and this time it’s our environment that is at risk,” said David Mills, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “When responsible leaders learn of relevant new information, they adapt their positions. Senator Webb and Senator Warner have agreed that the President’s call for a delay on new projects is the responsible course of action until the cause of the tragedy in the Gulf is determined — yet Governor McDonnell continues to push for unrealistic timetables.”
Mills further stated, “Just last night, Governor McDonnell was in Texas rubbing elbows with oil industry executives as they discussed the profits to be had from offshore drilling. A spill of this magnitude off Virginia’s coast would devastate our coastal economy and endanger the effectiveness of the world’s largest navy base at Norfolk. A responsible leader with the right priorities for Virginia would join Senators Webb and Warner in their commonsense approach.“