Oil spill debate no place for politics

Published 10:55 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

Alabama Democrats are wasting no time politicizing “a national tragedy.”

On Friday, the state Democratic Party sharply criticized state Republicans for supporting oil drilling and oil companies, even citing the “Drill, baby, drill” chants offered at the 2008 Republican National Convention and attacking Alabama Supreme Court decisions in recent years. Of course, it’s duly noted that three Alabama Supreme Court seats are on the ballot this year and Democrats, and with primaries set for June 1, Democrats see this as a ripe marketing opportunity.

That’s a shame, because this issue shouldn’t become a political hot-potato.

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Instead, all our nation’s resources need to be focused on clean-up efforts. First, and foremost, government and private experts need to find a way to stop the flow of oil from the leaking pipeline.

Then, they need to begin what can only be described as a massive cleanup effort.

Sweeping calls to end offshore drilling, while sure to come from many, aren’t the answer. America needs to continue to drill for oil off its coastlines. However, we need to do so safely and efficiently. And, we need to make sure we have proper responses in place should breakdowns in the system occur. In this case, it appears we don’t have those responses in place, which is incomprehensible on its own.

But using this disaster as political leverage to try and sway voters in a statewide campaign while real issues is a waste of our time and energy.

And it’s an embarrassment to Alabamians who would rather have leaders focused on solving problems than promoting polarizing politics and further dividing our state.