Today, President Obama trotted Interior Secretary Salazar out to do his dirty work -- announcing the President's decision to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
This is pure politics of the most cynical kind. It is all about the election season, not safety and environmental concerns. The White House wants us to believe that they have solved all the dangers of offshore drilling and we can return to business as usual. It is a false promise, if not a big lie.
I am in Gulfport, Mississippi right now on the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise, where oil is still washing up on the beaches beside me. Scientists have joined us on the ship to uncover what the White House has been covering up: that the oil is still here, that it is affecting our health, our environment, and that the worst impacts are likely yet to come. However, the government wants us to believe that a few technical and bureaucratic fixes add up to what they call a "gold standard" for dangerous offshore drilling.
Only the oil industry wants this disaster to 'go away' more than President Obama, who recklessly opened new areas to offshore drilling some three weeks before the BP blowout occurred on April 20, 2010.
This announcement adds to the debacle that is President Obama's energy strategy. The President's own Global Warming Czar, Carol Browner, advised the President to allow offshore drilling, and later went on camera to say that almost all of the oil is gone. Recent documentation of Browner's and Obama's handling of energy and climate paints an even uglier picture: that the White House continuously ham handedly gave away its bargaining chips for climate legislation, including offshore drilling, nuclear energy, and this administration's ability to regulate carbon pollution.
The President's energy and climate strategy has been a disaster. His new electoral strategy to try to look like Big Oil to save Democrats in the mid-terms is certain to fail as well.