PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

Offshore Drilling Battle is “On”

June 23, 2008

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has begun a two-day campaign swing through California, where he'll likely be "drilled" on his proposal to increase the amount of offshore oil drilling along U.S. coastlines. President Bush supports the idea and is urging Congress to lift the 27-year moratorium on the practice, as a way to boost domestic energy production.

Phyllis Cuttino, of Pew Environment Group, considers it ironic that McCain will be stopping in Santa Barbara. The city is the site of a 1969 oil spill that prompted numerous environmental protection laws. New leases for drilling off the coast, she adds, would have little effect on the country's dependence on foreign oil.

"These are very expensive ways to extract oil; not only in the high cost to the consumer - which would ultimately be passed along at the pump - but they come at a very, very high cost to our environment."

The Santa Barbara oil spill contaminated miles of shoreline, killing hundreds of birds and animals. Today, Governor Schwarzenegger and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are among those who oppose lifting the offshore drilling moratorium. Cuttino shares their view, that the U.S. cannot "drill its way out" of the current energy crisis.

"It doesn't solve any problems in the short term, or in the long run. What we really need to do is move to different, renewable sources of energy, and we need to bring that technology to market faster."

In addition to more offshore drilling, McCain supports a summer "gas tax holiday," nuclear power, and incentives for developing new energy technologies.

Lori Abbott/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - CA