Friday, February 19, 2010

NYT says enviros cooling on Obama; for Michigan and Gov. Granholm, it's deja vu

The New York Times had a piece yesterday about growing dissatisfaction with President Obama among environmental advocates.

Among the reasons: Backing off on a carbon cap; enthusiastic support for so-called clean coal (an Orwellian moniker invented by the industry); new loan guarantees to push nuclear power forward, more offshore drilling and – I might add although I didn’t see it in the Times story – his refusal to slam the door on Asian Carp by closing the locks at Chicago.

The reactions are striking in the similarity to Michigan environmentalists’ reactions to Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Like Obama, she replaced an administration widely seen as hostile toward environmentalists and indifferent at best toward our natural resources. She, too, campaigned on strong and progressive environmental promises. And she, too, was the target of criticism when her results didn’t match her rhetoric.

Unmet promises are part and parcel of the job – political realities temper the grandest ambitions. But they also can be the result of a lack of conviction, lack of aggressiveness, or a lack of strategy.

I’m willing to give a President only 13 months into his tenure the benefit of the doubt.

But he loses me a little bit more every time he uses the ridiculous term “clean coal.”


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