Obama Energy Policy Looking More Ridiculous by the Day
I don’t want to take attention away from the human horror of what’s happening in Japan–I hate when I see the suffering of Black people turned into a debate about something else (e.g., The Left’s using Hurricane Katrina to make it a referendum on President George Bush, as reason to get him and the Republicans out of office, but not actually as an opportunity to push for reparations for the people of the city of New Orleans–see Jared Sexton’s essay in the book “What Lies Beneath” by SouthEnd Press for more of this analysis.), but I do want to just name for a moment the sad state of the Obama Presidency.
Just a few weeks before the earthquake that lead to a tsunami, that led to a nuclear powerplant explosion in Japan, Obama’s State of the Union Address was used to promote the use of more nuclear power in the United States. Last year, weeks before the BP Oil deluge in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Obama announce the Administration’s interest in expanding offshore drilling. I was thinking about blogging about this, and saw Politico.com had just reported a story along the same lines:
Obama’s all-in on nuclear power has been building since he came into office. He pushed cap-and-trade legislation that federal studies showed would lead to construction of 100 reactors and backed spending on research into new plant designs.
In November, he said nuclear energy was an issue of potential compromise with Republicans; and earlier this year, he used his State of the Union address to call for nuclear to be counted alongside traditional renewables such as solar and wind as part of a national “clean” energy standard.
“The bottom line is this,” Obama said. “We’ve been having this conversation for nearly four decades now. Every few years, gas prices go up; politicians pull out the same old political playbook, and then nothing changes. And when prices go back down, we slip back into a trance. And then when prices go up, suddenly we’re shocked. I think the American people are tired of that.”
Obama embraced new offshore drilling during the oil price spike in 2008, which carried through to the BP spill last year. At that point, he pivoted off images of oil-soaked wildlife and fears of an ecological disaster in the region to impose a moratorium on offshore drilling and went to work beefing up safety standards. Republicans and Gulf Coast Democrats have criticized the administration for slow permit approval. A Gallup Poll released Monday found 60 percent of Americans want to increase oil and gas drilling, up 10 percentage points from May.
Every time I think there’s an opportunity for him to take a current crisis to flip the national debate (WI workers should have resulted in the call for a robust Employee Free Choice Act that included public sector workers, but none has come.), he does nothing of the sort.