Longer title: Obama Disregarded the Environment and Climate Change
While generally pleased with President Obama’s defense of his policies and decimation of Romney’s inane positions on any number of issues, I remain very disappointed that he did not take the several openings given him to defend his administration’s support of clean energy technologies for the sake of our environment. At the risk of sounding like a spoiled child who laments, after a wonderful birthday party, “But I didn’t get a pony!”, please entertain the following.
Romney derisively hammered Obama on at least two occasions, maybe more, for stalling the Excel pipeline project. Never mind that the route our President properly rejected would have put a major aquifer at risk from pipeline leaks of some of the worst forms of petroleum-based pollution; never mind that the intended destination of those non-leaked petros would have been the refineries along the gulf coast in LA and TX and converted to globally fungible financial assets. The bottom line in that scenario is/was that Big Oil could rape the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, ship and spill their booty southward through the US, refine it or otherwise make it available to the global oil market.
Regrettably, Obama made no effort to refute or to defend the charges, much less to put in a word of support of protecting our environment from those immediate costs and potential environmental hazards posed by the pipeline.
Far worse, to my mind, was that in all of the discussion and debate, both candidates essentially agreed to “drill-baby-drill”, or “mine that coal”. Did Obama ever mention the need to abandon our reliance on fossil fuels in order to forestall the accelerating pace of anthropogenic global warming? If so, I missed it. Doing so would have justified his administration’s promotion of Clean Energy sources—not because it merely sounds good, but because it is actually necessary if we are to have any hopes of avoiding the calamitous consequences of our continued and growing reliance on fossil fuels as our primary energy source.
All in all, a FAR better defense of his guiding principles in governance in this debate than in the first, but his unwillingness to confront one of the most significant problems facing America and the world, to defend green energy initiatives on those merits alone—and not just because the industry creates jobs-- will deny his candidacy for reelection of any claim to a public mandate to take measures commensurate with the threats that we face.
That, my friends, is an opportunity lost.