Obama’s Embrace Of “Drill, Baby Drill” Angers Greens
As far as the environmentalists are concerned, the announcement made by President Obama today amounts to a generous giveaway to the oil industry, and the betrayal of previous promises made to change the direction of the US energy policy. President Obama wants to authorize oil and gas exploitation in the coastal waters of the Southern Atlantic States, and the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama insisted today that offshore oil exploitation will not only reduce the US dependence on foreign oil, but also create jobs.
During the White House press conference today, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton was pressed to answer a few questions concerning how environmentalists and liberal Democrats would react to the announcement.
Question: “Can you guys afford to kind of anger the environmentalists, sort of the liberal side of your base, with the pretty expansive decision of offshore drilling?”
Bill Burton: “Well, it’s the President’s view that we need to do here is take a comprehensive approach to energy policy.”
When pressed again, by a reporter, to talk specifically about the anger of the environmentalists, Bill Burton answered:
“Sure, well we are the Democratic party; we often have disagreement among our friends. But the President is going to continue to talk to folks in the environmental community.”
However, the “folks in the environmental community” are pretty upset and not necessarily much in a talking mood. After what environmentalists viewed as President Obama dropping the ball at the Copenhagen climate conference, this new announcement will not win him any support.
Greenpeace in particular was outraged by President Obama’s proposal, and quick to react to it.
“Incredibly, despite dire warning from the scientific community that we are approaching a tipping point in Earth’s climate system, Mr. Obama has set us on a course towards more dependence on fossil fuel,” wrote Philip Radford for Greenpeace.
Philip Radford further argues that President Obama’s claims that the move will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs “don’t hold up to scrutiny”. Greenpeace thinks it is time “to tell President Obama that we need to move forward into a clean energy future and away from oceans and climate destruction”.
The organization 350.org is also strongly opposed to President Obama’s plan. 350.org says that “Offshore drilling does not equal 350”, and that the Obama administration’s decision to expand offshore oil drilling is “a blow for clean energy and a step in the wrong direction. Offshore drilling threatens hundreds of miles of coastline, pours more carbon into our atmosphere and hardly puts a dent in America’s oil addiction”.