During his 2008 campaign and the early period of his presidency, President Obama was much more vocal about climate change than he eventually became, as he realized obtaining a second term might be made harder by trying to win the favor of competing Democratic sub-factions (namely, environmentalists and unions) by being too decisive on the issue (hence the soft “all of the above” pander). Not to mention, most Americans are generally resistant to the idea that the Democrats intend to foster “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices in order to force our transition to the more minimalist, renewable-energy society of their greenest pipe dreams — best not to keep repeating that one. The campaign made it clear early on that President Obama didn’t intend to make a big issue of climate change, but now that his second term is secure, I wouldn’t be shocked if the new-and-improved, more “flexible” second-term model will again reveal that he is a zealous champion of the cause.
The extremely influential, well-networked, and well-monied environmental lobby is over the moon about the whole thing, and just in case you didn’t catch it last night in his acceptance speech, my ears certainly perked up:
We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.
We’ll see if my theory is correct, but here’s something that could force the issue right quick: Remember the Keystone XL pipeline? How the White House managed to finagle and delay a decision on whether or not to permit TransCanada Corp.’s to build a pipeilne to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries? President Obama successfully maneuvered a punt on the issue, which pitted especially vociferous environmentalist opposition against the support of energy companies, unions, and the affected states, allowing him to more or less sweep it under the rug — but the greenies are wasting no time getting back to work. Via The Hill:
Environmentalists are planning a demonstration on Nov. 18 to put fresh pressure on President Obama, the projected winner of a second term, to reject the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Climate activists including 350.org founder Bill McKibben and Sierra Club head Michael Brune announced the White House demonstration Tuesday shortly after Obama was projected the victor over Mitt Romney. …
“We’d like to ask you to come once more to Washington, to resume the battle to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, mid-afternoon on Nov. 18th,” states the letter from activists including author Naomi Klein, Nebraska anti-Keystone advocate Jane Kleeb, outspoken NASA climate scientist James Hansen and others.
Any bets on how second-term Obama is going to play it?