The idea of drilling offshore for oil has never been particularly popular in the U.S. Historically, both Democrats and a fair number of Republicans have been against it, usually citing environmental concerns. But that was before $4 a gallon gasoline.
These days, the American public is so fed up with higher prices at the pump they’re willing to try anything that even remotely resembles a solution. Both John McCain and Barack Obama have opposed offshore drilling in the past, but this is an election year. While both candidates will admit that drilling may or may not have a significant effect on lowering gas prices, the pressure from voters is too great. People want to think that something, anything, is being done in the short term.