There are any number of reasons to find fault with the Obama administration’s so-called “all of the above” energy agenda, including that it doesn’t quite do enough to allow the United States to take full advantage of the shale oil-and-gas revolution, is slowly but surely attempting to choke coal completely out of the energy mix, and diverts too many taxpayer resources to politically preferred technologies that have yet to become cost-effective, practical substitutes.
Funnily enough, I would generally agree with these eco-radicals’ sentiment that the policy is little more than the White House’s weaksauce attempt to have their cake and eat it too, but of course, these groups’ complaints are all running in the opposite direction: That the Obama administration is not doing nearly enough to forcibly restrict the activities of the fossil fuel industry whilst promoting a more fully “renewable” agenda. Via the Washington Post:
A group of the nation’s leading environmental organizations is breaking with the administration over its energy policy…
The rift — reflected in a letter sent to President Obama by 18 groups, including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund and Earthjustice — signals that the administration is under pressure to confront the fossil-fuel industry or risk losing support from a critical part of its political base during an already difficult election year.
“You can’t have it both ways,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in an interview. …
“We believe that continued reliance on an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy would be fundamentally at odds with your goal of cutting carbon pollution and would undermine our nation’s capacity to respond to the threat of climate disruption,” the environmentalists wrote in a letter obtained by The Washington Post. “With record-high atmospheric carbon concentrations and the rising threat of extreme heat, drought, wildfires and super storms, America’s energy policies must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, not simply reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
The administration, these groups contend, should really start applying a much stricter climate-change centric test “to all decisions regarding new fossil fuel development,” including the Keystone XL pipeline, hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling, and etcetera, and they are not being shy about publicizing their newfound willingness to really get super-duper tough on the White House:
— Sierra Club (@sierraclub) January 17, 2014
The White House, for their part, isn’t completely brain-dead; they’re pretty well aware of where much of what recent job creation, economic growth, and trade balancing we have had is largely coming from, but they know they’re going to have to keep walking this tightrope between well-monied environmentalist groups and the well-monied oil and gas industry:
Dan Utech, special assistant to the president for energy and climate change, said in an interview that the administration is “taking a number of steps under the climate action plan to drive down emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases.”
“At the same time, obviously we’re going to keep using oil and gas for some period of time,” Utech said. “It’s better to produce these things here than import them. They go together, and they’re not really at odds.”
That several European countries are currently undergoing crises of skyrocketing energy prices and ergo a resurgence of that most ghastly of energy sources, coal, all due to the very same all-or-nothing policies that these apparently depraved “green” groups are now single-mindedly promoting, does not seem to faze them.