“Birds covered in oil make a great advertisement for renewable energy.”
The Financial Times, June 16, 2010.
As I watched President Barack Obama’s Oval Office speech last week—in which he offered up empty buckets of hope—I reflected on the Greens and the crisis their President is muddling through. Like a cop, there never seems to be a Green around when you need one.
Certainly the Save-The-Earth Squadron has been noticeably silent on the Gulf oil spill. In fact there hasn’t been a peep from the animal rights activists, even in the face of CNN’s continuous coverage of oil stricken pelicans.
According to Politico, “As the greatest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history has played out on Obama’s watch, the environmental movement has essentially given him a pass—all but refusing to unleash any vocal criticism against the president even as the public has grown more frustrated by Obama’s performance.”
In fact, environmental groups sacrificed some seals to run a full page ad in The Washington Post earlier this month. Incredibly, the ad does not fault Obama over the ecological catastrophe. In fact it thanked him for putting on hold an Alaska drilling project. “We deeply appreciate your decision…” the ad tells Obama.
It gets even more surreal.
“President Obama is the best environmental president we’ve had since Teddy Roosevelt,” Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope told the Bangor Daily News earlier this month. “He obviously did not take the crisis in the Minerals Management Service adequately seriously, that’s clear. But his agencies have done a phenomenally good job.”
Good job? Can you imagine if this disaster belonged to John McCain and Sarah Palin? The Greens would be marching on Washington with ropes in hand. So what is going on?
I think the answer is pretty easy: Greens are not outraged by what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico because it is a means to and end. The end being a President that wants to reshape the U.S. economy right down to the last solar panel.
“These guys have bet the farm on this administration,” said Ted Nordhaus, chairman of an environmental think-tank, the Breakthrough Institute. “There has been a real hesitancy to criticize this administration out of a sense that they’re kind of the only game in town. These guys are so beholden to this administration to move their agenda that I think they’re unwilling to criticize them.”
Even as Obama compares the oil spill to 9/11, the silence of the environmentalists is deafening. It is all part of the Green’s strategy to paint petroleum as the enemy. And Obama is marching lockstep with them.
“In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11,” said the President, “I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”
Obama is using the catastrophe to push forward climate and energy reform. These are not my conclusions. This is what the President has vowed: “(We will) move forward in a bold way in a direction that finally gives us the kind of future-oriented… visionary energy policy that we so vitally need and has been absent for so long.
“One of the biggest leadership challenges for me going forward is going to be to make sure that we draw the right lessons from this disaster,” the President said.
Obama said he did not know if America would shift from an oil-based economy in his lifetime, however he added that now was the time to “start making that transition.”
Obama’s comments and the Federal government’s need to look like it is doing something about the oil spill led the CEOs from Big Oil to Capitol Hill last week with promises to reform while pleading their case for petroleum.
The executives of the five biggest oil companies operating in the U.S. faced accusations that the Deep Horizon oil spill is somehow the fault of all of them. The bosses of BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips delved into the safety of offshore oil exploration and drilling and even had to muster arguments as to why oil is a necessity to the American economy.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
I can see why BP was grilled by Congress; but I am baffled why the other Big Four were called before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.
"This blowout happened at a BP well,” declared Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), “but, if it occurred at an ExxonMobil or Chevron well, they wouldn’t have been any more prepared to respond.”
Excuse me Mr. Waxman, but it didn’t occur at an ExxonMobil or a Chevron well. It happened at a BP well, and while we are on the subject let’s talk about why it happened. It happened because the available terra firma of the U.S. has been over drilled, over pumped and sucked dry.
Still Chairman Waxman and the rest of the committee have Big Oil back-peddling. ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva looked like a kindergarten kid ready to cry as he explained that the Federal government’s energy policy must "recognize that we have a robust oil and gas industry that generates vital U.S. jobs, as well as substantial state and Federal revenue from tax and royalty payments."
Obama’s Testing The Waters
Common sense suggests that Mulva and the rest of the non-BP executives should have told Congress to shove-off, that they are in fact keeping America’s economy afloat and, oh by the way, providing you with transportation home. Big Oil isn’t doing this. Instead they are allowing themselves to become whipping boys for Must See Congressional TV. That tells me that something bigger is afoot. Exactly what that is is being revealed by Obama.
From the Oval Office Obama said: “The time to embrace a clean energy future is now.”
It just so happens, writes The Financial Times, that wind turbine makers and solar panel companies are ramping up their pressure on Congress and getting a sympathetic ear.
A member of the Clinton White House (Bill’s not Hillary’s) told The Times that renewable companies had to seize the moment quickly. "Most events do not engage people’s heartstrings and neurons together. This one does," he said, adding: "It cries out for the President to push the Senate to act this year."
First come the heartstrings then come the purse strings. By the time this thing finishes up the environmentalists will be tickled silly. For them the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is a perfect storm—a stupendous way for the Greens to collect a lot of green from ordinary people like you and me.
Action To Take: The rant against Big Oil is mostly for show. However, BP (NYSE: BP, $29.58) is a mess and it is only going to get worse.
Fortunately we sold BP on May 5 and recommended you do the same in A Crude Coincidence—The Gulf Oil Spill Works Out Well For The Greens. BP traded that day at $52 per share. At this writing it is trading under $30 per share. If for some reason you still haven’t sold your shares, do so now. Obama and the Big Green Machine may bankrupt BP.
Yours for real wealth and good health,
Myers’ Energy and Gold