Not everything President Obama has done is bad!
Julie Pace and Dina Cappiello 09/ 2/11 09:32 PM ET
WASHINGTON — In a dramatic reversal, President Barack Obama on Friday scrubbed a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who complained the rule would kill jobs in America’s ailing economy.
Withdrawal of the proposed regulation marked the latest in a string of retreats by the president in the face of GOP opposition, and it drew quick criticism from liberals. Environmentalists, a key Obama constituency, accused him of caving to corporate polluters, and the American Lung Association threatened to restart the legal action it had begun against rules proposed by President George W. Bush.
The White House has been under heavy pressure from GOP lawmakers and major industries, which have slammed the stricter standard as an unnecessary jobs killer. The Environmental Protection Agency, whose scientific advisers favored the tighter limits, had predicted the proposed change would cost up to $90 billion a year, making it one of the most expensive environmental regulations ever imposed in the U.S.
More at the link. Contrast that with former Vice President — and, thankfully, never President — Al Gore:
The leaders of the top environmental groups in the country, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, and millions of people around the country — including hundreds of people who have bravely participated in civil disobedience at the White House — all agree on one thing: President Obama should block a planned pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.
The tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet. As I wrote in Our Choice two years ago, gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. This pipeline would be an enormous mistake. The answer to our climate, energy and economic challenges does not lie in burning more dirty fossil fuels — instead, we must continue to press for much more rapid development of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and cuts in the pollution that causes global warming.
I would be absolutely thrilled if we had an existing, or close to development, source of non-polluting fuel. I would also be absolutely thrilled if we had warp drive starships, transporters, unlimited wealth and prosperity, freedom from poverty and want and the elimination of Islam as a belief on our planet.
But reality intrudes. I’d be willing to bet a case of Mountain Dew that President Obama really didn’t want to withdraw the proposed regulations, and, were we living in a time of economic prosperity and reasonably full employment, he wouldn’t have done so; he’d (probably) have judged the costs of the regulations to be bearable and worthwhile. Instead, with unemployment stubbornly holding above 9% and businesses being extremely cautious about making the new investments to create jobs, President Obama has given jobs, and not costing businesses an additional $90 billion a year for something which does not improve productivity, a greater value than the (supposed) reduction in smog these regulations would have forced.
Our former Vice President and Nobel laureate?¹ He’d rather throw away a source of petroleum and the thousands of jobs that the pipeline project would create, all for the (supposed) gain of reducing CO2 emissions.
And the difference between the two? Both are Democrats [shudder!] and both are liberals [double shudder!], but one has actual responsibility for the economic well-being of this country, while the other, despite once asking for that responsibility, does not. Our former Vice President can advocate any silly thing he wishes, because, in the end, he is not actually responsible for anything.
Maybe, just maybe, had Theresa LaPore not so poorly designed the infamous “butterfly ballot” in Palm Beach County, Mr Gore would have been elected as our 43rd President, and actually been given the kind of responsibility he sought. But, having listened to and even read our former Vice President’s words, I’m persuaded that this country just barely avoided a very serious mistake by retiring Mr Gore from public office.
¹ – Rather humorously, on his own website’s biography page, Mr Gore tells us that he “was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years. During the Administration, Gore was a central member of President Clinton’s economic team. He served as President of the Senate, a Cabinet member, a member of the National Security Council and as the leader of a wide range of Administration initiatives,” as well as noting the books he wrote, the current positions he holds, and his Nobel Peace Prize, but wrote nary a word about being the 2000 Democratic Presidential nominee.