Early on, Republican presidential nominee John McCain claimed he would compete for California’s Electoral College votes in the fall. But now we have to wonder if he was just talking. His embrace of offshore oil drilling as a solution to the nation’s energy woes may play in Peoria, but in Penngrove and Petaluma? Not so much.

Even McCain’s most prominent California supporter, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, took the time last week to disagree with McCain’s position.

The candidate and Schwarzenegger will appear together today in Santa Barbara, site of the 1969 oil spill that changed public attitudes toward offshore oil.

It will be interesting to hear what they have to say after so many years of willful indifference from Washington. In the era of $4 a gallon gasoline and global warming, Americans are now paying the price for Congress’ unwillingness to prepare for hardships that were both inevitable and predictable.