A Democrat Senator from Virginia blatantly lied about his position of offshore drilling during a debate on Saturday.
“I don’t know if you remember in 2010, the BP oil spill – massive,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-NY) in a debate against GOP challenger Corey Stewart. “Localities in Hampton Roads, 1.6 million people who had supported offshore drilling changed their positions – local governments changed their positions to oppose it, and now all of the communities in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore and many in the Northern Neck are against offshore drilling.”
Kaine’s suggestion was that his support for offshore drilling changed with that of his constituents. Kaine was Governor of Virginia at the time.
But in 2013, when he was in the Senate, he co-sponsored a bill with fellow Virginia Sen. Mark Warner to open up the Virginia coastline for oil and gas drilling, according to PolitiFact.
“Virginia is well-positioned to be a national leader in offshore energy exploration. A comprehensive energy strategy – including oil, gas, wind, solar, tidal and other areas – can transition us to a clean energy future while bridging that transition with secure U.S. fuels we don’t have to import,” Kaine said at the time. “Virginia’s diverse energy portfolio is a model for the nation. This legislation will bolster our energy security, create jobs, and direct revenues to Virginia that will support important priorities across the state.”
He even wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2013 defending his support for “development of offshore energy.”
He stuck with this position until 2016, when he joined the Hillary Clinton campaign for President and needed to portray a “green” image. In August, 2016, he was asked at a rally whether he supported offshore drilling.
“Well, I actually am now in that position, because the Obama administration has decided not to do offshore drilling because the Defense Department objects, and I share those objections,” he said.
Kaine’s claim that the DoD’s position on offshore drilling was the pretext for his switch is also a lie. The DoD is on record as opposing offshore drilling in the Atlantic as far back as 2010.
“The Defense Department report, concluded in March but released in part Tuesday by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a drilling opponent, indicates that drilling would interfere with military activities, including ordnance training and carrier operations, in 72 percent of the 3 million acres covered by the lease sale and that it could be allowed only with restrictions in 6 percent of the area,” says a Washington Post article from 2010.
But Kaine claimed in Saturday’s debate that the DoD only came out against offshore drilling in 2016, and that was the true reason changed his stance.
“The DoD came out against [offshore drilling],” Kaine said. “The biggest pillar of the Hampton Roads economy, they came out against it in March of 2016. And when the DoD came out against it I had the Pentagon officials in my office, and I met them, and when they said they were against it I said ‘well then we shouldn’t do it.'”
Kaine has flip-flopped so many times on this issue when politically expedient, that he cannot even keep track of his own stance.
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