Some have equated the oil spill in the gulf as “Obama’s Katrina.” Thomas Friedman argues that the more appropriate description is this is “Obama’s 9/11” or a President’s failure to galvanize the public after a disastrous event.
That’s a little dramatic, but I understand Friedman’s overall point. Obama, instead of lecturing Oil Executives from the Rose Garden, could use this event to show light on our addiction to oil and start a big initiative with a big lasting effect. And with the Kerry/Lieberman bill just recently unveiled the timing could not be better, however:
The President is offering no big strategy to end our oil addiction. Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have unveiled their new energy bill, which the president has endorsed but only in a very tepid way. Why tepid? Because Kerry-Lieberman embraces vitally important fees on carbon emissions that the White House is afraid will be exploited by Republicans in the midterm elections. The G.O.P., they fear, will scream carbon “tax” at every Democrat who would support this bill, and Obama, having already asked Democrats to make a hard vote on health care, feels he can’t ask them for another.
Friedman’s passion for green energy is certainly sincere, as is his frustration with the lack of leadership on this issue. The Americans are ahead of our politicians on this one. We are waiting for someone to lead us in the right direction.