Morning Joe: Pres. Bush Uses Hurricane Gustav As Reason For Off Shore Drilling

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What a craven, insensitive politico. People have been flooded out of their homes, millions evacuated in a scary reminder of Hurricane Katrina and what does Bush do? Uses a statement on the affects of Hurricane Gustav to plug off-shore drilling and slam Congress for not letting him do it.

BUSH: Thank you all for coming. We recognize that the pre-storm efforts were important and so are the follow up efforts. And what happens after the storm passes is as important as what happens prior to the storm arriving.

So our discussion here today is about energy. Gulf coast region produces a lot of energy for the United States. And we are now in the process of assessing any damage done to the infrastructure. And it's a little early right now to come up with an assessment, there are some encouraging signs. For example, during Katrina, rigs moved because of the force of the storm and their anchors drug across pipelines would cause infrastructure damage. We didn't see much of that this time although I will tell you, it is a little early to be making any forecasts. It's not too early, however, for the federal government to continue to coordinate with state and local people. That's why Secretary Bodman (Secretary of Energy) is in touch with Governor Jindal. We want to make sure that we are in touch with the energy-producing states, to help assess what took place and what needs to happen. One thing is for certain, when Congress comes back, they have got to understand that we need more domestic energy. Not less. And one place to find it is offshore America. Lands that have been... have been taken off the books, so to speak, by congressional law, and now they need to give us a chance to find more oil and gas here at home. I would much rather, you know, American consumers be buying gasoline from American oil than from foreign oil. I would rather our dollar stay at home than go overseas. I know that Congress has been on recess for a while, but this issue hasn't gone away. This storm should not cause members of Congress say well, we don't need to address our energy independence. It ought to cause Congress to step up their needs to address our dependence on foreign oil. And one place to do so is to give us a chance to explore an environmentally friendly way on the outer continental shelf. Thank you very much.

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BRZEZINSKI: Okay, that was President Bush giving reporters an update on the situation to the hurricane. And nicely waving in a little pitch for off-shore oil drilling.

SCARBOROUGH: I was going to say, Mika. Anybody, anybody that thought this would be the warm and fuss fuzzy George Bush and say maybe we didn't have everything right last time. But this time we are worried about the Americans. No, he turned it around, drill now.


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