From David Hulen in Anchorage --
This is the new Weekly Standard: To Drill, or Not to Drill
Will McCain change his mind about Alaskan oil?
Republican presidential candidate John McCain says that he's taking another look at the possibility of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and as part of that assessment McCain says that he plans to talk to the nation's most prominent advocate of drilling in ANWR, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
McCain has opposed drilling in ANWR. In the past he's compared it to drilling in the Grand Canyon. But as energy prices climbed over the past several months, he has been careful to avoid locking himself into an anti-drilling position. In late June, McCain told voters in Missouri and Minnesota that he was open to receiving new information about exploration on Alaska's coastal plain, but noted: "I certainly haven't changed my position."
In an interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD aboard his campaign plane last week, McCain made clear he has not ruled out a change in his position--to one that endorses drilling in ANWR. "I continue to examine it," he said. So does his staff. McCain's campaign has been quietly studying the ANWR issue and discussing the potential consequences--good and bad--of a policy change.