September 03, 2011

Smog: The straw to break #enviro backs?

President Obama's backtrack, flip-flop, or whatever you want to call it on now deciding not to push for tougher smog enforcement standards, following in the footsteps another another "green jobs company" shutting down in large part because this neoliberal president, in touting green jobs and refuses to do anything about China subsidizing such jobs itself, even as his own administration touts Chinese job creation could be the straw that breaks the back of at least some environmental groups and environmentally minded individuals.

Perhaps. Perhaps not. When at least some environmental groups act surprised about all this, as well as still holding out hope that Obama will override his own Department of State and Secretary of Energy and deny Keystone XL, you have to wonder just how much some of these folks suffer from "battered Obamiac syndrome."

But why would these people be surprised? Even before he was elected president, Obama's "green" credentials were fairly thin. As a senator, Obama had no problem with favoring anti-environmental ethanol, taking nuclear power industry campaign contributions, and telling fluffery about  "clean coal." He wasn't as bad as some Republicans, but he was no environmental saint.

And, that record didn't improve even at the start of his presidency. When he appointed Kenny Boy Salazar as Secretary of the Interior, over a number of what were perceived as better candidates, especially given Salazar's relationship to oil and gas interests, that should have been a signal right there. But, between the soft bigotry of low post-BushCo expectations, combined with "Gang Green" environmentalists often thinking in terms of "access" first, Obama got a pass.

And, may still get a pass, as the "surprised" environmentalists still hold out hope where it's inexplicable to do so.

Well, "Gang Green" environmentalist groups. As the story notes, folks like the Center for Biological Diversity are ready to move on, in at least some way and sense.
“I think that two-plus years into Obama’s presidency is more than enough time for him to have established a clear weak record,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Can't say it any better than that, other than noting he never had a strong record to start with.

The Washington Post weighs in, noting that his action to allegedly placate business interests, even while indicating (for now) he's not going to loosen every regulation, is confounding.

UPDATE: Sorry, Obama, but your "jobs-killing" excuse for this retreat? Businesses say regulatory issues aren't a concern.

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