Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill

It really feels like Bush never left.

When President Obama signed the health care "reform" law that forces millions of people to buy garbage insurance they won't be able to afford to use and levies an excise tax of 40% on middle and working class people with employer-provided health care plans to do it, he said "This is what change looks like."

I thought "Really - looks more like business as usual at the Bush administration where President Bush forced through the Medicare drug bill giveaway to Big Pharma and called it "reform" too.

Then there's Obama's NCLB re-authorization, NCLB Jr., in which President Accountability is taking the battery of tests Bush first imposed and adding them to every subject in every year. Adequate Yearly Progress measures for schools are gone - now they've been added to teacher evaluations. Teachers must increase the test scores of their students from September to May or risk being fired like President Accountability had all those teachers in Rhode Island fired. NCLB Jr. is a wet dream Bush never could have gotten through a Democratically-controlled Congress but when a Democratic president pushes through Republican policies, Democrats seem to vote for them anyway.

And today the NY Times reports that Obama has decided to drill baby drill:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

The proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.

Under the plan, the coastline from New Jersey northward would remain closed to all oil and gas activity. So would the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to the Canadian border.

The environmentally sensitive Bristol Bay in southwestern Alaska would be protected and no drilling would be allowed under the plan, officials said. But large tracts in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska — nearly 130 million acres — would be eligible for exploration and drilling after extensive studies.


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.

The Senate is expected to take up a climate bill in the next few weeks — the last chance to enact such legislation before midterm election concerns take over. Mr. Obama and his allies in the Senate have already made significant concessions on coal and nuclear power to try to win votes from Republicans and moderate Democrats. The new plan now grants one of the biggest items on the oil industry’s wish list — access to vast areas of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling.

But even as Mr. Obama curries favors with pro-drilling interests, he risks a backlash from some coastal governors, senators and environmental advocates, who say that the relatively small amounts of oil to be gained in the offshore areas are not worth the environmental risks.

The Obama administration’s plan adopts some drilling proposals floated by President George W. Bush near the end of his tenure, including opening much of the Atlantic and Arctic Coasts. Those proposals were challenged in court on environmental grounds and set aside by President Obama shortly after he took office.

It's like Bush never left.

Obama seems to relish sticking it to people who voted for him - teachers, environmentalists, health reform advocates.

Apparently the Change We Can Believe in Obama spoke about bringing America was Bush administration policy.

POSTSCRIPT: I should also note that Obama has doubled down on the war in Afghanistan, has kept troop levels in Iraq the same as Bush, swallowed the Bush/Paulson TARP/TALF bailout-plan whole and continued to hand out billions to Too Big To Fail Institutions, and renominated Bush's Fed Head Bernanke to the Federal Reserve.

All very Bush/GOP-friendly policies.

And remind me, did I miss the DADT repeal signing ceremony in the Rose Garden or did that not happen?

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