Reid: “This is an opportunity for us as a country to move away from fossil fuel, to do a better job of looking at renewable energies that are available to us all over this country.”
“I said to the Republicans, join with me,” Obama said. “There’s been some good work done by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. Let’s go. Let’s not wait. Let’s show the American people that in the midst of this crisis, all of us are opening our eyes to what’s necessary to fulfill the promise to our children and our grandchildren.”
Greenwire (subs. req’d) reports today on Obama’s remarks at an SF fundraiser for Sen. Boxer (D-CA) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Here’s more:
“The fact of the matter is, is that not only do we have to revisit how these oil companies are operating … but we’ve also still got this overarching issue,” Obama said….
“Even if you hadn’t seen the catastrophe down in the Gulf, the reason that folks are now having to go down a mile deep into the ocean, and then another mile drilling into the ground below, that is because the easy oil fields and oil wells are gone, or they’re starting to diminish.”
He added, “That tells us that we’ve got to have a long-term energy strategy in this country. And we’ve got to start — we’ve got to start cultivating — we’ve got to start cultivating solar and wind and biodiesel. And we’ve got to increase energy efficiency across our economy in our buildings and our automobiles.”
Obama spoke about the push for an energy and climate bill just hours after meeting with a skeptical Senate Republican conference on Capitol Hill where members — including Graham — urged him to pare back and try a less comprehensive approach because of uncertainties over the oil spill.
Yes, Lindsey Graham, who has morphed from a bipartisan statesman to an incoherent pol mocked by his colleagues, has now become the incredible shrinking man, on his way to becoming a truly de minimis politician:
“On energy and climate, the way you move forward is you have a comprehensive approach you can sell, and I don’t think many people believe that the oil spill has helped to get more voters on offshore drilling,” Graham told reporters after the meeting with Obama. “It’s made it a harder climb, so let’s do smaller versions of an energy, climate bill.”
Let’s do a teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy energy bill that just opens up the South Carolina coast to drilling — and only by BP — okay?
Here, on the other hand, is the Senate majority leader today on the Senate floor:
The bill can’t move forward without some Republican cosponsor. Since that does not appear to be Graham ( though I would expect he’d vote for the final bill if it made it that far), and since Sen. Cantwell has given Sen. Collins (R-ME) all the cover she needs to abandon her long-standing commitment to climate action, that leaves Sen. Snowe (R-ME), who did not prove terribly reliable during the healthcare debate, but who certainly understands the threat of anthropogenic global warming.
Sad, really, that this most modest, market-0riented climate bill, which would easily get 60 votes if Republicans were not hell-bent on denying Obama any victories that might show he is a bipartisan leader who can solve problems, may well wither on the vine.