The Coleman/Franken YouTube debate

YouTube has continued its efforts to make itself a debate forum for political races in 2008, and now it has moved beyond the presidential race to Congressional contests.  Its first “event” focuses on the Minnesota Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken.  Steve Grove asks for YouTube questions that either candidate can answer:

Anyone wanting to offer their own question has to produce their video response by today; the request just came to my attention, and the “contest” closes sometime this afternoon. Fortunately, I had some time this morning to pull together a quick production, and it’s been submitted as a response to Grove’s video. I had to read the question off of a script I wrote, but which I didn’t have time to memorize — hence the eye shifts:

Gentlemen, thank you for taking our questions through YouTube. My name is Ed Morrissey, and my question is about energy policy.

I’m wearing a cap from the Blind Faith oil rig, which will produce oil from the Gulf of Mexico. It employed thousands of Americans during its construction, and it will employ thousands of Americans during its many years of operation. The oil from this rig will allow us to buy just a little less oil from the international market.

It would take “blind faith” to ask Americans to wait for the kind of mass-production energy resources that opponents of increased domestic oil production demand. We need to find and develop those resources, as well as make our energy use more efficient. However, we need to ensure energy security in the short term as well, and we need to stop sending vast amounts of American wealth overseas, especially when it helps make terror sponsors rich.

Currently, American uses 20 million barrels of oil a day, 12 million of which we import from a variety of sources. Our demand on the oil market, along with rapidly rising demand from China, India, and other developing nations, has driven prices out of sight over the last two years, and provided a price support for oil-producing nations such as Iran, Sudan, and Venezuela – regimes that support terror and genocide.

America has tens of billions of barrels of its own oil in proven reserves in the outer continental shelf, another ten billion in ANWR, and at least 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Green River shale formation. Green River alone would supply all of America’s oil needs for over 100 years without importing a drop.

My question for both of you is this: will you support drilling in the OCS, ANWR, and in shale areas that will allow us time to develop alternate energy resources, create American jobs, stop the transfer of hundreds of billions of American dollars overseas, and end the price supports that boost terrorist nations? And do you support an expansion of nuclear energy in the US as a long-term, clean energy resource, as nations like France, Japan, and Russia do?

Will they select my video, and will both candidates answer it? If they do, I’ll post responses from both Coleman and Franken here at Hot Air.

Update: A couple of points raised in the comments need clarification.  I did submit this as a video response to the YouTube posting, but it requires approval from the YouTube channel for it to appear.  And yes, I would definitely like people to rate this highly to boost its chances for selection.  Gimme stars, baby, five at a time!

As far as it being a little too lengthy, I think it’s concise enough.  It won’t be run on a TV show; these are expected to get video responses from both candidates rather than get featured on a televised debate.  I wanted to make sure that both candidates responded with the facts in place in order to get a more complete answer.