If at any point during your observation of this interminable oil crisis in the Gulf you've found yourself thinking, well, it looks like we should probably do something to start curbing our national dependence on this stuff, know that you're not alone. And if, like me, you're starting to get pretty ticked off that there seems to be absolutely no momentum building in Congress (or anywhere, really) behind policy that would do exactly that, then you may be scratching your head over why exactly that is. This seems like a perfect time to win political points by taking on Big Oil, right? Alas. This video from an MSNBC segment does a pretty good job of summing up why the Senate sucks on this front right now . . .
I tend to agree pretty fully with Dave Roberts here -- the bottom line is, chances for solid energy policy are not looking good. And the amazing thing here is that the 'moderate' Democratic senators and the whole of the GOP stand to galvanize public support by backing even the Kerry-Lieberman bill. Polls consistently show that Americans support clean energy and climate policy, and would be willing to pay more for energy if it meant fighting climate change. And they flat out despise BP and the oil industry right now -- so why not push for clean energy?
The answer is pretty simple: they are beholden to oil company interests, and they fear attacks from other politicians who are also beholden to oil company interests would label the policy a 'tax' (even though it's not). Also, because most of them are spineless (not all, mind you: Sen. James Inhofe must have a pretty big spine to consistently and brazenly fly in the face of science and common sense).