Following Senator John McCain’s ad that compared Senator Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton for his celebrity status, the hotel heiress promptly responded with an ad of her own. On actor Will Ferrell’s website, Funny or Die, Hilton devised her own energy policy to relieve Americans from high gas and electricity prices. She said:

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 candidates’ 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.”

Throw her on the ballot!

In all seriousness, eliminating bans on offshore drilling has tremendous potential with little risk involved. Currently there are government restrictions in place for new energy production off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, parts of offshore Alaska, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. In these areas alone, the Department of Interior estimates the amount of energy to be:

• 19.1 billion barrels of oil (30 years with of imports from Saudi Arabia)
• 83.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (enough to power America’s homes for 17 years)

My colleague David Kreutzer, Senior Policy Analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change, put it this way: “Paris Hilton’s support of offshore drilling confirms that this policy is a no-brainer.”

Enough said.