McCain Now Says He’s ‘More Than Happy’ To Consider Flip-Flopping On Alaskan Oil Drilling

In recent days, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) dropped his previous opposition to drilling for oil off the coasts of Florida and other coastal states. In fact, his current position is a shift from three weeks ago, when he said such drilling would do little to resolve America’s broader energy needs.

Now, McCain is weighing another flip-flop, this time in regards to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In a townhall in Springfield, Missouri yesterday, when asked about drilling in the refuge, McCain said he would reconsider his position:

I don’t know how you’d take advantage of it in an ecological manner, and that’s one of the reasons why I have opposed drilling up there. But as I say, I will look at all policies I have in light of this changed economic environment. … And I will go back and look at it again. And I will be more than happy to examine it again. But right now that’s, for a long period of time, that’s my position.

Watch it (at 1:10):

But just yesterday evening, on the PBS News Hour, McCain’s senior adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, stated, “He still opposes drilling in ANWR. It is named a national refuge for a reason. It is an ecologically special place, and he has always felt it should be at the back of the line for any domestic exploration.”

As late as Monday, McCain was still adamantly opposed to drilling in the refuge:

I believe that ANWR is a pristine area. Obviously, I’ve felt that way ever since we put it in to permanent preservation status. I do believe that there are places in the world, as I said, that we should not drill. [6/16/08]

As far as ANWR is concerned, I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon, and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades. This is one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world. [1/06/08]

I am opposed to it. … I certainly wouldn’t want to see another Exxon-Valdez situation, as you know. [12/8/07]

Yesterday, CNN’s Jack Cafferty mused that McCain is “liable to break a hip” with all of his flip-flopping.