he told us he would do this two years ago:
Obama said Friday that he would be willing to compromise on his position against offshore oil drilling if it were part of a more overarching strategy to lower energy costs.The problem, from my perspective,is that he's doing this before there's a comprehensive energy policy in place. It's an offering in hopes of getting one. From the NYT today:
"My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," Obama told The Palm Beach Post early into a two-day swing through Florida.
The proposal is intended to reduce dependence on oil imports, generate revenue from the sale of offshore leases and help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation.From the perspective of getting a deal on energy and climate legislation, keeping this move in Obama's back pocket for negotiations might've been a little better and he might've been able to get his environmental supporters to understand a little bit. As it is, this decision looks like he's giving away the candy store without any promise of a return.
But while Mr. Obama has staked out middle ground on other environmental matters — supporting nuclear power, for example — the sheer breadth of the offshore drilling decision will take some of his supporters aback. And it is no sure thing that it will win support for a climate bill from undecided senators close to the oil industry, like Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, or Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana.