1sunfight’s Weblog

April 2, 2010

You can change the president …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katharina in Ghent @ 9:29 am

… but you can’t change his advisors

Do you still remember the days of “Change we can believe in” and “Yes, we can”? When we thought that with a new, young president, who did not come from the Old School, things would be different, decisions would be different, and a step forward towards new technologies and new perspectives would be made?

Well, think again. On April 1st, 2010, Obama announced that new areas in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mexican Gulf and in Alaska will be made available for drilling oil. Gone are the days when the emphasis was on pushing new technologies to provide green energy, and finally come up with a nation-wide carbon cap. He has come a long way from the days when he vowed in his first address to congress in February 2009 to push renewable energy and more fuel efficient cars.

So why is it that he has made a nearly 360° turn? My guess is that he is listening to the same advisors who were already whispering into George Bush’s ears, advisors paid by Big Oil who finally want to get their hands on all those reserves. Even in his address yesterday, he admitted that the US has only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, yet it uses 20% of the oil supply. So, will drilling for more oil really make so much of a difference in terms of dependence of outside sources of oil? It will take several years from exploring possible new oil fields to actually producing oil, so why not use this effort instead to go heavy on renewable energies?

During his election campaign, Obama was very successful in fundraising. About half of his nearly $750 million were donated by smaller donors – very impressive indeed. But that leaves still the other half, and $300+ million make a good number of people asking for their interests to be taken care of. And I bet you, that they were – at least in the beginning – contributing equally to McCain’s campaign. (Almost a third of his funding was raised in the last quarter of the campaign, when the economy took a nose dive and it became clear that Obama was becoming the favorite.) I also bet you that they were there when GWB was in office, and pushed him to start drilling big time in Alaska.

My conclusion is that while democracy makes us elect our leaders, we have no influence whatsoever about who will advise them, where they come from and who pays their other paychecks. And most of all, how long they’ve already been there.

I’m not an American citizen, so I didn’t vote for Obama, but if I would have, at the latest now I would have been greatly disappointed about my vote.




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1 Comment »

  1. He is still pushing for more renewable and green energy concerning windmills, etc. He is also working toward better and stricter construction standards for building and their contents that are more environmentally friendly. I have a friend who is working on that now and has explained to me in layman terms what is going on. Additionally, he is also working on raising standards for cars to increase gas mileage and low carbon emissions. The standard will start in 2016, with incremental changes in the years leading up to 2016. http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/01/autos/cafe_standards_final/index.htm?hpt=T1
    So you don’t like the one headline from yesterday that may take decades to implement and may never happen because of it? Try looking around a little more on the same site beyond one headline grabbing article and you will find more about his energy policies. Obama and his advisors are not disappointing anyone who donated money to his campaign and voted for him, since he’s living up to most of his campaign promises.

    Comment by Julie P — April 2, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

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