BP & the politics of energy: in bar graphs - Macleans.ca

BP & the politics of energy: in bar graphs

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Politico reports that Obama’s pollster is making the case on the Hill that the BP spill has primed public opinion for a major energy-and-climate bill. Ben Smith has posted the stats and graphs pollster Joel Benenson is using to make the case.

Obama is expected to call for energy legislation in his Oval Office address on Tuesday night. Climate change provisions will still have an uphill battle in the Senate.

But the president sounded emboldened by the spill in an interview with Roger Simon, (a columnist who recently lost both feet, but not his sense of humour):

“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much.

Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying, this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”

There was some real irritation in his voice when he said: “And so — and this translates into very concrete terms — I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies, and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, Big Government over-regulation and wasteful spending.”

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