President Obama’s recent move to the center of the traditional political spectrum is either a calculated political move or a deeper understanding of the peak oil crisis facing the world, or both.
House Minority Leader John Boehner:
“Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources off the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense.”
Mac Reacts: While you talk a great game Mr. Boehner, wasn’t it a Republican congress and President who failed to have the foresight and understanding of developing oil problems to drill in these locations before President Obama took over? It was more politically expedient at the time to gloss over any substantial energy policy because there was not yet a crisis and you didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Spare us your empty diatribe.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club:
“What we need is bold, decisive steps towards clean energy … not more dirty, expensive offshore drilling. The oil industry already has access to drilling on millions of acres of America’s public lands and water. We don’t need to hand over our last protected pristine coastal areas just so oil companies can break more profit records.”
Mac Reacts: Mr. Brune is on target with the idea that we need a “bold, decisive” energy policy. Bold, however, does not mean forcing energy mandates down the throats of the American people via economic atom bombs like cap and trade. It means relaxing taxation on small and large businesses alike, allowing them to invest more money into technologies that will make us independent of depleting resources. Also, before you spout your disinformation we have to correct you on something: oil profits hover at around 9.7%, not exactly jaw dropping. And, a little fact that we realize you may not understand or do not care to research, is that when companies increase their profits it creates JOBS. Not only that, but investors (like those people with 401k’s and IRA’s) grow their accounts via increased stock prices and dividends.
Jonathan Hiskes, Grist:
“This is â€¦ stunning. Baffling. With the new policy Obama appears to be taking a major step toward siding with carbon-polluting industries in the battle to defend the energy status quo.”
Mac Reacts: Good point, and there may be some truth to it, but we think this is a move by the Obama administration to pave the way to passing the Cap and Trade. Of course, the energy producers will probably find a way to pass that on to consumers too, so in the end, the consumers are the ones that will get slammed. Also, we realize that polution results from oil production and we support alternative energy exploration, development and invention, but the fact is that we need oil and we need it now. If we don’t drill our own, then we are at the mercy of our suppliers. Strategically, this is a solid move while we move towards alternative energy over the course of the next several decades.
Chuck Todd, NBC, in a tweet:
“Amazing the politics of offshore oil drilling has shifted so dramatically that a Dem POTUS could do this w/little fear of enviro retribution.”
Mac Reacts: The enviro nutz will certainly flip out – see Sierra Club above and Greenpeace below.
Marc Ambinder, The Atlanti:
“By announcing this BEFORE the Senate moves forward with its climate change legislation, which may or may not include cap-and-trade (probably not), the White House is betting that they’ll force Republicans into a corner before the public debate begins, they’ll give some cover to moderate Democratic members of Congress (who love it when Obama picks a fight with his own base), and they’ll get some public cred with Americans who want to see the president moving quickly to find opportunities to create jobs. This isn’t about votes in Congress per se, it’s about perception, cover and framing the debate. It’s also a move that tries to get ahead of rising gas prices.”
Mac Reacts: This sounds about right.
Taylor Marsh, political blogger:
“This is a calculated and pragmatic political decision, mixing all the possible variables facing the President. Itâ€™s not progressive, but then Pres. Obama isnâ€™t a progressive. If you thought he was you simply didnâ€™t pay attention. Todayâ€™s decision is simply the energy version of what happened on health care.“
Mac Reacts: What? forget all that stuff about energy policy. What is this lady smoking? President Obama must be a Blue Dog Democrat then? Progressive=Liberal Socialist.Â Socialism/Progressivism is a badge of honor for half of voting Americans today, and their spokesperson is President Barack Obama. There is no need for further discussion on this one especially considering Newsweek ran a story last year with the headline “We’re All Socialists Now.”
Sarah Palin tweeted:
“Drill, baby, drill.”
Mac Reacts: Yeah, we get it. Drill. Whatever you do though, please don’t run for President.
Phil Radford, executive director Of Greenpeace:
“Is this President Obama’s clean energy plan or Palin’s drill baby drill campaign? While China and Germany are winning the clean energy race, this act furthers America’s addiction to oil. Expanding offshore drilling in areas that have been protected for decades threatens our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them with devastating oil spills, more pollution and climate change.”
Mac Reacts: We realize you have an agenda Mr. Radford, and China may be going crazy with solar panels, but if you didn’t notice, they are drilling all over the world and heavily investing in oil resources. The Russians are in the Arctic. We’ve been sitting here twiddling our thumbs for the last two decades. You must understand, all liberal bias aside, the we have to drill for oil right now, especially within our own borders and along our coasts, otherwise our economy literally dies.
Mark Thoma, Economist’s View:
“Increasing the risks to the environment in an attempt to save the environment seems like a less than optimal strategy.”
Mac Reacts: Drilling for oil is not an environmental strategy. What the hell are you talking about?
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in a statement:
“I thought the president’s speech correctly emphasized the national security aspects of this problem … As to the Obama administration’s proposal for environmentally sound offshore exploration for American oil and natural gas, this is a good first step. But there is more that must be done to make this proposal meaningful and the game-changer we all want it to become.”
Mac Reacts: Yeah, there is much more to be done. Step One to change the game: Kick you and the rest of your clown friends out of the circus we refer to as Congress. See reaction to Boehner above for why this is a good idea.
Jonathan Ruiz of Florida International University, who campaigned for Obama for fourteen months:
“It’s like a kick in the face.”
Mac Reacts: Welcome to the face kicking party. Many of us have had our skulls bashed in and groins severely bruised as a result of the President’s policies. You get no sympathy from us, Jonathan.