The Green Warriors turned out to have a fairly short lived celebration after Barack Obama kicked the Keystone XL can down the road yet again. What looked like a victory for the environmental lobby was quickly thrown into a tailspin when the President gave his State of the Union address. In it, he spoke some fairly heartening words about an, “all of the above” energy policy – something we’ve been pushing for here since the beginning of his administration. Of course, whether words translate into action this year remains to be seen.
Still, those few phrases on Tuesday night were apparently enough to set off a wave of despair in some quarters. At WNYC in New York, Justin Krebs takes to his keyboard to mourn the apparent death of the green energy movement.
President Obama’s decision last week to halt the Canadian tar-sands pipeline project was the right choice for the environment, a win for environmentalists – who had staged incredible acts of civil disobedience protesting the project — and a talking point of attack for GOP candidates through the debates and South Carolina speeches that followed…
However, the Keystone Pipeline was just one very extreme front in this fight, and as environmentalists realized just a few days later, it’s not a fight that they are winning. In his State of the Union, the president showed his support for more domestic energy exploration — which many understand to include controversial franking [sic] techniques and ever-deeper and riskier oil drilling. We may have stopped one pipeline, but we haven’t changed a system that demands us to pipe more oil and natural gas further distances to power our everyday lives.
The pouting continues for some time, going on to blame the GOP for “hyperventilating” and “pounding the administration” over the failures at Solyndra. (Apparently things at the solar panel plant would have been just fine had it not been for you meddling conservative kids, Shaggy.) He then goes on to re-run the mantra that solar, wind and geothermal are ripe and ready to solve all of our problems if only Obama would act “forcefully and decisively” enough. (I assume some amount of clapping until Tinkerbell comes back to life will also be involved, but the author doesn’t specify.)
But even the “victory” portion of this diatribe may wind up being off the mark. President Obama didn’t really deliver some bold, green energy stand in nixing Keystone. He attempted a blatantly obvious political ploy, trying to have it both ways by allowing for a fresh request of the Keystone project at a later date, hoping against hope that he can somehow keep this off the front pages until after the election. If he had truly been supporting the green lobby, he would have proclaimed the pipeline to be “a bad thing” and said it wasn’t going to happen. That’s not what he did, and all the wishing in the world isn’t going to make it so.
Will we see concrete action on a new, more viable domestic energy policy this year, to the great dismay of Mr. Krebs and his friends? Anything is possible, I suppose, and if it happens I will be the first one to step up here and congratulate President Obama on his wise decision. But I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.