Today, Obama proposed that we open up millions of acres along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling. And, in doing so, he once again disappointed and outraged the left… Here, to put today’s announcement in context, is a quote from candidate Obama in 2008:
“Now believe me, if I thought there was any evidence at all that drilling could save people money, who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks, by this summer or even next year or the next few years, I would consider it. But it won’t. … [New drilling] would only worsen our addiction to oil and put off needed investments in clean renewable energy.”
How we got from that to “Drill Baby Drill,” I’m not sure. My guess, however, is that it was purely political – something done to knock the Republicans off balance while the President pursues other, less popular measures to address CO2 production, oil consumption, and the like. As no one on the left held him to the promise of a public option when the health care bill was being crafted, my guess is that he figured he’d get away with it, as long as he ultimately got some kind of energy bill through Congress. And, with midterm elections on the horizon, I suspect he was also looking for an olive branch that Democrats in vulnerable districts could wave in the faces of Tea Party lunatics.
Personally, I wish he’d focus more on what really matters – bringing Hamas to the United States.
And, if you didn’t get that, I’m sorry. It’s kind of an obscure reference to the “Christian warriors” of Hutaree. It seems as though one of them arrested by the FBI a few days ago, was under the mistaken impression, thanks to an internet rumor, that Obama was going to spend billions to settle members of Hamas in the United States. Here’s a clip from the Detroit Free Press:
A member of the Hutaree militia charged with federal crimes was upset because she thought that President Barack Obama had signed into law this month a bill that would spend $20 billion to help the terrorist group Hamas settle in the U.S…
Anyway, I hope today’s announcement is just the first step toward a comprehensive plan that would increase funding for research into alternative fuels, establish robust public transportation systems across the United States, levy taxes on gas and carbon production, etc. But, I suspect, given what we saw with health care, we’ll end up with very little of that. What we’ll get will be some degree of incremental improvement… Unfortunately, our times call for more.