Deepwater Horizon: One Year Later, covered in an interview in The Atlantic, April 20, 2011, with author of new book on the topic. One excerpt:
You write that “as Bush blew 9/11’s possibilities, Obama is blowing this blowout.” In light of the President’s recent “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future,” what lessons has he learned from the disaster, one year on, and how has he exploited them?
I’m a little bit less certain about my answer to that question. What Obama has learned is of course subject to being thwarted by the Congress. He seems always to be cautious about appearing too strident and trying to throw lots of bones to the opposition, to quietly peddle a wiser, longer-term vision. I personally wish he wouldn’t do that. The people who voted him in voted him in because we—I’ll say we—were really sickened by what had preceded him and what the Republicans were doing in Congress and in the White House, and we really wanted big, bold change, the kind of change that candidate Obama was talking about. I think we still want that, and his kind of soft-peddling the boldness and the change only makes the people who hate him hate him more, and the people who support him support him less.
I’m still looking for a fight out in the open. I wish he would continue to articulate a very clear vision about moving forward—about building the energy infrastructure, the smart grid that we would need, the new energy technologies that we would need, and creating an environment for new investors that would be much more conducive—so that American companies are not going to Germany and China to do this work.
So I’m a little less sure of what my answer is to what he has learned. I would rather that he would come out and tell us. I suspect that he knows and thinks all the right things, but his approach to the politics makes him look more hesitant, and then the actual politics make him a lot less able to implement his vision. But he’s not articulating a clear vision that at least half the country, who would be inclined to rally around him, can rally around.
Three more articles, who of which feature graphics, are listed below.
- One Year After the BP Spill: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t, by Amy Harder, National Journal. April 19, 2011