Obama reverses his position on offshore drilling

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.

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9 Comments

  1. Montana
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I love that they asked for “Public Defenders”, I guess they now know about the undercover FBI agent. The simpleton Tea baggers keep missing the point. These are the same whiners that were crying when the McCain/Bailin ticket lost. Now they are crying again because their yelling (because they are haters not debaters) did not stop health care from passing. They think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something they are not the only ones that are armed and not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around in the parks playing commando, the majority understand that the world is more complicated and grey then the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. So it’s only fitting that their leaders are Sarah Bailin, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and their turn coat Glenn Beck. So if you are bothered that there are some misconceptions of your group, well then I think you need to be more careful who you invite to give you speeches.

  2. Gerald
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, since the tea party lunatics made him do it, I guess it has to be okay with me. They are way more influential than the oil industry.

  3. Rob
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    But no drilling to be openned up along the California coast…. Gotta keep Nancy “P” happy I guess.

  4. Edward
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Huge disappointment. The oil that we have should be kept in reserve. As much as we may need it now, we’ll need it more in the future. And a greater emphasis should be put on the production of alternative fuels. This move by Obama, unless it’s part of a bigger strategy that we’re not aware of, is lunacy.

    Let’s remember, he started health care reform in motion by making sweetheart deals with industry. This isn’t anything new.

    Maybe he’s not really all that progressive after all. Or, more likely, he’s brilliant, and knows exactly how much he can get away with. We may never know.

  5. Frosty
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    According to reports, the scraggly haired Christian warrior, was also afraid that her Bubble Yum bubblegum was made from spider eggs.

  6. Kevin
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Even weirder, Republicans are now against drilling!

    http://firedoglake.com/2010/03/31/surprise-republicans-suddenly-oppose-offshore-oil-drilling/

  7. Peter Larson
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The members of Hutaree would have a hard time locating Detroit on a map, let alone Gaza.

  8. L2D2
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Hamas and Hutaree probably aren’t all that different, except for the fact that the men and women of Hamas actually know how to fight, and don’t just dress up like jackasses and give each other made up names.

  9. Posted April 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I get pissed off about Obama and his broken promises, I should visit this site.

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