It's hard to find an upside to the disastrous oil spill still
spreading in the Gulf of Mexico. But Democrats may be looking to push
cap and trade legislation, which had previously stalled, off of public
outrage against the offshore drilling accident. What are their chances?
Something Good From Oil Spill The Washington Post's Steve Mufson and
Michael Shear write, "President Obama tried Wednesday to channel
public outrage about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill into support for a
climate-change bill, seeking to redefine an issue that threatens to
tarnish his presidency. In a speech at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon
University, Obama made one of his strongest pitches for comprehensive
climate legislation, arguing that the case for breaking the nation's
addiction to fossil fuels has been made clearer by the environmental
catastrophe in the gulf."
- Exploiting Crisis for Bad Policy
The Heritage Foundation's Nicolis Loris fumes, "Similar
to Rahm Emanuel’s 'You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste'
statement, President Obama urged both Democrats and Republicans to move
quickly to pass cap and trade legislation. This is not the solution to
America’s energy needs because cap and trade will raise energy prices,
kill jobs and contract the economy." He adds, "The president said he is
angry and frustrated – as are most Americans. But that frustration
should not lead to policies that will shrink America’s economy, destroy
jobs and affect America’s energy production for years to come."
Policy Remains Unpopular, Difficult to Secure The Examiner's John Ryden notes, " It is clear
from his speech that the president’s top priority is to pass cap and
trade legislation. It is notable that he did not directly address it by
that name. Probably because cap and trade is not very popular, often
referred to by critics as ‘cap and tax’. He does not have the votes in
the senate to pass this legislation as he noted. ... To get his cap and
trade bill passed he is trying to add energy development measures to
develop off-shore oil, natural gas, and nuclear power. The BP oil spill
in the Gulf has made this more difficult as it has stiffened the
opposition to any off-shore drilling, leaving the president less
incentives to win votes for his cap and trade legislation."
Cost Too High National Review's Stephen Spruiell makes the case. "The state’s independent
auditing agency just released a damning study on the cap-and-trade program California plans to implement
that the 'net economywide impact' — which includes badly needed revenue
for the state’s empty coffers — 'will in all likelihood be negative.'
The case of California shows us that our illusions about the economic
feasibility of a green-energy utopia are on a fast track to the dust
- Oil Spill Hurting Obama's Energy Agenda The New York Times' Peter Baker writes, "Now that engineers have given up
trying to plug the leak and have turned
their efforts to containing it until a relief well can be finished in
August, Mr. Obama faces at least two more months of crisis management
that will complicate his hopes of advancing his agenda in other areas.
Every day he devotes to a spill that seems beyond his control, and every
day it consumes attention in Washington, is another day that he cannot
focus as much energy and resources on his own initiatives."
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