President Obama has so far declined to give voice to the connection between the massive, stomach-churning fossil-fuel disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the massive, stomach-turning damage that fossil fuels wreak every day. He hasn’t used his bully pulpit to highlight the opportunities to use energy more intelligently and gather it from cleaner sources.
“This is a responsibility that all of us share,” he said [full text]. “The oil companies share it. The manufacturers of this equipment share it. The agencies and the federal government in charge of oversight share that responsibility.
“I will not tolerate more finger pointing or irresponsibility.”
Fine, but he’s continued to let BP drive the message on the Gulf leak by lowballing leak-rate estimates, stalling on releasing information on the leak rate, and pushing false optimism about the latest desperate gambit for plugging it up. The federal government, not an oil company, should be controlling the information and the emergency response.
And on the clean-energy connection … still nothing. This is all Obama had to say about the big energy picture:
“Now, as I’ve said before, domestic oil drilling continues to be one part of an overall energy strategy that now includes more clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency than at any other time in our history. But it’s absolutely essential that going forward we put in place every necessary safeguard and protection so that a tragedy like this oil spill does not happen again.”
A call for “no more spills like this” and assurance that Obama still supports offshore drilling — that’s all we’ve gotten.
Back during the presidential campaign, a campaign strategist told Obama, “You are more clutch than Michael Jordan.”
“Just give me the ball,” the candidate replied.
Mr. President, you’ve got the ball now.