Who is the President trying to buy off, and for what?
According to the NY Times Obama is going to reopen coastal waters to oil exploration.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.
But while Mr. Obama has staked out middle ground on other environmental matters — supporting nuclear power, for example — the sheer breadth of the offshore drilling decision will take some of his supporters aback. And it is no sure thing that it will win support for a climate bill from undecided senators close to the oil industry, like Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, or Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana.
The Senate is expected to take up a climate bill in the next few weeks — the last chance to enact such legislation before midterm election concerns take over. Mr. Obama and his allies in the Senate have already made significant concessions on coal and nuclear power to try to win votes from Republicans and moderate Democrats. The new plan now grants one of the biggest items on the oil industry’s wish list — access to vast areas of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling.
The Obama administration’s plan adopts some drilling proposals floated by President George W. Bush near the end of his tenure, including opening much of the Atlantic and Arctic Coasts. Those proposals were challenged in court on environmental grounds and set aside by President Obama shortly after he took office.
Unlike the Bush plan, however, Mr. Obama’s proposal would put Bristol Bay, home to major Alaskan commercial fisheries and populations of endangered whales, off limits to oil rigs.
It appears that this may be an effort to gain votes for cap and trade, but isn’t it a bit too obvious, and given Obama’s previously demonstrated levels of honesty who is to say these areas will stay open after the vote?
Newsweek has much more
despite anger from the environmental left, the move may still prove strategic for Obama. The president is desperate for another win, and especially on something as big as energy. Appeasing conservatives moves the White House closer to the 60-vote threshold in the Senate—the magic number to overcome an imminent filibuster. Senators like Lisa Murkowski and Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu have been hesitant to support anything that disadvantages their pro-drilling states. Other Republicans have staunchly opposed anything that mandates a cut in carbon emissions. If Obama’s drilling announcement tempts anyone new to the table, he’ll add several more hash marks to his tally.
President Obama’s decision to open up vast tracts of ocean off the Atlantic coast and eastern Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling is making big waves. What’s most interesting is that after eight years of George Bush and Dick Cheney, it’s the Democrats who will end up lifting a longstanding moratorium on exploration off the East Coast.
The move certainly has political ramifications for Obama. He’ll score big points with Big Oil but anger much of the environmental left. What it really does though is underscore just how serious Obama is about reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, which last year accounted for more than half of the 18.6 million barrels we consumed each day.
It’s very interesting that Newsweek has forgotten that George Bush opened those waters before and Obama shut them down. It’s also interesting that a president who is so committed to reducing foreign oil demand has closed down virtually all oil shale and oil sand exploration in the US.
Outrageous – Racist Teabaggers continue compare President to Hitler, call for armed revolution, and killing the president.
allow me to refer the people in this video to my previous kick in the crotch postings, or allow me to kick them all in the crotch.
GOP backing off Health Care repeal? I am not sure if they are really backing off or making the point that there are other important issues out there. In either case repeal needs to stay at the top of the list.