Monday, June 29, 2009

Obama's dirty little (energy) secrets

While the recent House passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act is a historic "first" in the battle against climate change--with Waxman, Markey, and Gore all reiterating the "first of many" mantra to climate activists--skepticism is just as appropriate, if not more, as celebration.

Eyebrows first went up when the bill called for the repeal of key provisions in the Clean Air Act, leaving no carbon regulation of coal-fired plants. One can only imagine that the effect will be similar to mischievous children who are not supervised or disciplined.

Then, earlier this morning as I was reading a blog post on the Obama Administration's lack of full disclosure and re-defining of the Freedom of Information Act, I also learned that Obama rejected the FOIA request for Secret Service logs revealing the identities of big coal executives visiting the White House. Despite the fact that as a Senator, Obama criticized Bush for his secret meetings with oil execs, Obama has pulled the same stunt to discuss "clean energy."

I get the fact that there are only 32 Democratic Senators and 157 Democratic Representatives that are from less-than-average coal-reliant states and that compromise for the sake of political viability is a shady game that must be played--but denying public and legal requests for information and holding secret meetings is a step too far, especially for a president who built his platform on transparency.

1 comment:

liminalD said...

Interesting :/

It's sad that when somebody does actually get into office who might do some good (and I'm not just talking about Obama here), inevitably they have to compromise because their hands are tied by Big Business. Sure, we all have to compromise, everyday, but its hard to be optimistic about change when corporate lobbying groups still have more direct access to the people in power than do the little people. *sigh*

And you're right about transparency... I seem to recall that was one of the big O's big election promises :(