Photo via CBC
Many environmentalists were discouraged last week when Obama noted in his SOTU that in order to achieve comprehensive energy reform, he was willing to discuss adding offshore drilling, a nuclear title, and more clean coal initiatives into the mix--which happen to be, of course, largely Republican interests. In fact, Virginia Governor McDonald was clearly unprepared for Obama to make such an offer--in his response speech to the SOTU, he condemned the president for not putting offshore drilling and nuclear power on the table. Despite the fact that Obama had just put them on the table. But while the invitation toward bipartisanship may (or may not) help clean energy reform pass, are the concessions worth it?I would argue that they are indeed. That as pointless as they may be--nuclear power is too expensive to be a true free-market player right now, and the domestic supply of oil is so tiny that we could perhaps get 2% more of our oil demand by opening offshore reserves--allowing for limited amounts of both may pave the way for bipartisan progress.
But a far better summation of the president's ideas for energy comes from this WYNC radio segment of the Brian Lehrer show, in which Joe Romm of Climate Progress debates David Kreutzer of the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation about what Obama's proposed energy reforms would mean. Have a listen:
Romm is pretty much right on here, even though the topic of job creation from ramping up the clean energy sector--which would be one of the biggest boons of clean energy reform--is never breached.
More on Obama's Clean Energy Agenda:
Would Obama's Spending Freeze Hit Energy and Environment Programs?
Americans Support Obama's Energy Policy: New Poll