Has the President been transformed by the oil spill in the Gulf, or is he merely trying to ride out the public reaction?---Here's the president on March 31st, announcing his plan to lift a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling: "Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy."
Here he is on May 26th, as political pressure starts to really build over the hole in the bottom of the sea that BP somehow seems unable to plug: "We're not going to be able to sustain this kind of fossil fuel use. The planet can't sustain it." Still, he added quickly, there's no need for any dramatics: “We’re not going to transition out of oil next year or 10 years from now.”
And here is the president last Wednesday, after yet another gimcrack solution at 5,000 feet under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico had gone awry, and real anger at the administration's lackluster performance crested: "[T]he time has come to aggressively accelerate [the transition from fossil fuels.] The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future."
The question is: which one is the real Obama? Has he really been transformed by the oil spill in the Gulf, or is he merely trying to ride out the public reaction with stronger words? I think the answer is as murky as the water off Mobile. We don't know because so far it's all words -- the closest he's come to specifics is that pledge that we won't be off oil in a decade. MORE...
Monday, June 07, 2010
"Is Obama Serious About Breaking Our Catastrophic Oil Addiction?"
Bill McKibben (AlterNet):