Once again, however, the administration applied the same backroom approach it took to health care reform. Instead of waging a public debate to pit the American people against the corporate polluters, Obama gave the polluters a seat at the negotiating table.
Ahem. The only public debate the president is capable of initiating right now is to pit races against each other. And the strategy of getting the American people in a debate about something they don't care about is doomed to fail anyway.
Time out: Since Dickinson brings it up, let's pause for a moment to remember who those corporations and nonprofits are (other than BP) that stand in favor of higher taxes and energy costs for their American customers:
- Boston Scientific Corporation
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Duke Energy
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Exelon Corporation
- Ford Motor Company
- General Electric
- General Motors Corporation
- Johnson & Johnson
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- NextEra Energy
- NRG Energy
- Pew Center on Global Climate Change
- PG&E Corporation
- PNM Resources
- Rio Tinto
- Siemens Corporation
- The Nature Conservancy
- World Resources Institute
So it is no surprise that, as Dickinson writes:
In private, big energy firms were offered sweetheart deals to acquiesce to the climate bill, including expanded offshore drilling for oil giants like BP and taxpayer subsidies for coal and nuclear interests that outstripped those for clean energy. "Kerry-Lieberman read like an industry wish list," says a top Senate environmental staffer. "The bill invests heavily in coal and nuclear, but doesn't do a heck of a lot for efficiency and renewables."
And then Dickinson blames the President:
On June 15th, the president – a communicator whom even top Republican operatives rank above Reagan – sat at his desk to deliver his first address to the nation from the Oval Office. It was a terrible, teachable moment, one in which he could have connected the dots between the oil spewing into the Gulf and the planet-killing CO2 we spew every day into the atmosphere. But Obama never even mentioned the words "carbon" or "emissions" or "greenhouse" – not even the word "pollution." The president's sole mention of "climate" came in a glancing description of the "comprehensive energy and climate bill" that the House passed. In a moment that cried out for direction-setting from the nation's chief executive, Obama brought no concrete ideas to the table. Restating the need to break our addiction to fossil fuels, he stared at the camera and confessed that "we don't yet know precisely how we're going to get there." He didn't challenge Americans to examine their own energy habits.
Obviously Dickinson forgot that Obama laughed with the rest of Congress and the nation during his State of the Union speech when he talked about the "overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change:"
In other Rolling Stone news, the latest album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is "dynamite!"
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