Not A Good Week For Barack Obama, Or The Environment

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Today at the White House, image credit Agent 350

It has not been a good week for Barack Obama. Outside his house, it is the last day of the sit-in and it's the biggest crowd yet. Yesterday author Naomi Klein was arrested; this can be a real problem for a Canadian if you ever want to get back into the US.

"I wasn't planning to get arrested," Klein told the Star minutes after she was sprung. "It was a last-minute decision. I was sitting there with several indigenous leaders from Canada. And when it became clear they intended to stay where they were and expose themselves to arrest, well . . ." She did the same. For Klein, it was a first-ever arrest. "I write. And I'm an activist. But I'm not a chanter, not a marcher. I've never been arrested before."

Meanwhile, the decision to kill the EPA's new rules on smog is making a lot of supporters angry.

Michael Tomasky calls Obama A President Adrift in the Daily Beast.

We can't calculate yet how this will reverberate through the environmental world, but we can imagine. This is the kind of thing that sticks with people. A promise was made and broken. And you know how partisans say sometimes in anger that we'd have been better off with the other guy? They say it for effect and don't actually mean it. But in this case, it's literally true. Bush-proposed standards in 2008 were tougher than the 1997 standards under which companies will now operate. I doubt environmentalists will forget this one.

Brad Plumer in the Washington Post calls it a betrayal.

Groups that have been lobbying for the long-delayed ozone update say they were essentially betrayed by the Obama administration, which, back in 2009, had fended off a lawsuit over Bush-era ozone rules by promising to issue tougher new standards. That, obviously, isn't going to happen now.

Joe Romm asks Is President Obama a Lost Cause Environmentally -- and What Should Progressives Do?

Ironically and tragically, Obama's semi-progressive policies, obvious lack of a guiding progressive philosophy, and dreadful messaging have but the progressive movement in genuine jeopardy.

Robert Redford asks in Huffpo: Is the Obama Administration Putting Corporate Profits Above Public Health?

One reason I supported President Obama is because he said we must protect clean air, water and lands. But what good is it to say the right thing unless you act on it? Since early August, three administration decisions -- on Arctic drilling, the Keystone XL pipeline and the ozone that causes smog -- have all favored dirty industry over public health and a clean environment. Like so many others, I'm beginning to wonder just where the man stands.

Nope, not a good week for Barack Obama.