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Skip Navigation Hilton...on Drilling

Ahem. Paris Hilton has just released a pretty funny "campaign ad" in response to the now infamous "Celebrity" spot circulated by John McCain's campaign:

Hilton's "energy policy" (@ 0:57):

Barack wants to focus on new technologies to cut foreign oil dependency and McCain wants offshore drilling. Well, why don't we do a hybrid of both candidate's ideas? We can do limited offshore drilling with strict environmental oversight, while creating tax incentives to get Detroit making hybrid and electric cars. That way, the offshore drilling carries us until the new technologies kick in, which will then create new jobs and energy independence. Energy crisis solved. [my emphasis]

I write this in full knowledge that I am fanning the flames of this distracting devolution into the realm of actual celebrities--but as long as millions of people are going to be listening to Paris Hilton on energy (far more than might have tuned in for McCain's remarks here or Obama's here), and because this is important stuff--we may as well run it through the Vine fact-checker.... 

In reality, experts--and McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin--repeatedly acknowledge that it would take 5-10 years for any tangible effects of offshore drilling to take hold; new oil production would only amount to 1 percent (200,000 barrels) of projected US demand when it does become available; and if new oil in 2015 or so could lower the price of gasoline, it would only do so by a few cents.

So there's no "carrying" over anything until technologies "kick in." Many clean energy technologies are extant, but have limited reach because demand for dirty enery remains so high. And in fact, the "tiding over" could be better accomplished by releasing oil from the US strategic petroleum reserve--not something you want to be doing regularly, but which President Bush did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and for which Obama and other Democrats have begun advocating.

On that note, Joe Romm has an excellent scorecard on Obama's "new" energy plan here. Money grafs:

This is easily the best energy plan ever put forward by a nominee of either party. By comparison, the plan of John "Nothing but Nukes" McCain is a joke, with nothing on energy efficiency and a pointless $300 million battery prize and long-standing opposition to renewable energy. In contrast, Obama's plan has real depth and breadth...

As for the test of a candidate's grasp of electricity policy, energy efficiency is obviously The only cheap power left and a limitless resource and THE core climate solution. Obama understands energy efficiency in a way few other major politicians do, as his plan makes clear.

The real hybrid plan, it seems, backed with the seriousness of purpose to actually get something done, is Obama's. But close enough, Paris.

--Dayo Olopade