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Obama’s oil policies well-liked at BU

Nearly 75 percent of 100 randomly selected BU students don’t support the Republican presidential candidate when it comes to oil and drilling policies.
Participants were given both candidates’ plans on oil and drilling policies without being told which plan belonged to which candidate. Twenty-nine students said they preferred Plan A, McCain’s plan regarding oil and drilling, and 71 students said they preferred Plan B, Obama’s plan regarding oil and drilling.
Of all three parts of the climate change plans students were surveyed on, the oil and drilling portion showed the most dramatic difference between support for McCain and support for Obama.
Whether a candidate supports drilling is an issue many students are concerned about, Brie Purcell, a CAS freshman, said.
‘Oil prices and energy problems affect my vote reasonably because they’re problems facing the world today that the past president messed up for us, and the next president has to fix,’ Purcell said. ‘Obama doesn’t believe in offshore drilling, and we’ve done a lot of research on it, and I think he’ll make sure it doesn’t happen.’
Obama seems to have a better plan because he strays away from drilling at home, Jonathan Gaudet, a junior in the College of Communication, said.
‘I haven’t looked into oil and drilling policies a lot because I live in the city and I don’t drive a car, so I’m not really affected by gas prices,’ Gaudet said. ‘It’s not a huge factor in my life right now, but I know it will be eventually.’
When people talk about not wanting to trade with foreign oil companies, they’re talking about getting away from places like the Middle East and Venezuela, international relations professor Henrik Selin said. Canada and Mexico are the biggest U.S. importers of oil, but if people in the U.S. were told to stop trading with Canada, they’d say ‘but Canada is different,’ Selin said.
‘The whole debate on energy independence is misguided, and there are very good reasons for why energy independence is bad for the United States,’ Selin said. ‘There simply isn’t enough energy in the U.S. to meet our energy demands. We use much more energy than we can generate.
‘McCain’s plan for drilling will have a negligible impact on U.S. energy security and independence,’ Selin said. ‘The amount of oil you can get from offshore drilling or in Alaska is a drop in a bucket.’
There is a distinct difference between Obama and McCain’s offshore drilling policies economically, SMG professor Nalin Kulatilaka said. Obama’s plan allows the government to weigh negative environment consequences of drilling against the positive effects of finding domestic oil, Kulatilaka said.
‘Even if we start working on drilling right away, it’s going to be 10 or 20 years before they find anything,’ Kulatilaka said. ‘Is that meaningful to talk about, or is there a more effective solution?’
Obama and McCain’s plans support offshore drilling to an extent, but McCain is a stronger advocator of it. However, Obama seems more reluctant to reveal his whole plan in the midst of the campaign, Kulatilaka said.

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