Republican presidential contender John McCain pledged to carry out an all-out attack on the nation’s energy woes in his speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention.

“We will attack the [energy] problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore and we will drill them now,” McCain told Republican delegates in St. Paul, MN. “We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex-fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.”

Democratic presidential hopeful “Sen. Barack Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices,” McCain said.

In mid-June McCain declared that he favored lifting the ban to give coastal states the option to permit exploration off their shores (see Daily GPI, June 18).

McCain’s vice-presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said the United States has “lots” of oil and natural gas and called for more domestic exploration and production during her speech Wednesday night (see Daily GPI, Sept. 5). “To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies, or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia, or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries, we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas. And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska, we’ve got lots of both.”

When a hurricane batters oil and natural gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, “this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” said Palin, who would be the first woman elected vice president if the Republicans win in November.

“Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of American’s energy problems, as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”

Although she did not address the issue in her speech, Palin previously stated that she supports removing the congressional moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling, as well as opening part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to development (see Daily GPI, June 24).

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