Obama on Oil

June 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I try not to get too political on this here blog, but some days I just can’t help it.

I don’t know if you watched the speech that President Obama gave to the country last night, but I sure did.  I’ve (obviously) been as concerned as everyone else about the Gulf Oil Spill and I think the first Oval Office address he gave to the nation was long overdue.  I don’t know what I was hoping he would say or do and by the time the speech was over, I still wasn’t sure.

I’ve been an Obama supporter since long before the election and while I don’t agree with everything he’s done (or hasn’t done) since taking office, I still stand behind the man.  While it didn’t shock me that his speech last night was reminiscent of just about every speech we’ve ever heard come from a politician’s mouth, I was a little disappointed at the lack of specifics.  I know he had to talk about everything the government has been doing and is planning to do, and I know he had to appeal to the Right in a way that wouldn’t immediately alienate them (not an easy task).  I thought it was good that he reiterated how BP will ultimately pay for the mess they created but I wish he would’ve given a bit more detail.  Saying that a bunch of scientists and researchers will have 90% of the leak plugged within the next few weeks is fine and dandy but I have to wonder how they plan on doing that when he admitted they’re still trying to figure out the best way to stop the leak.  Perhaps they already have some grand plan that they’re hiding from the public, but for some reason I don’t think that’s the case.

I did appreciate the fact that he admitted we will be fighting this oil spill for years, because that’s the damn truth.  He also talked about making sure the economy, local residents and businesses along the Gulf were taken care of in this dire time, and I think that was something that people needed to be reminded of.  And I had to smile when he got adamant about reducing our dependency on a finite resource, because he’s right about that too.  When he spoke about that I saw a glimpse of the Obama I fell in respect with, the man who was upset and frustrated and wanted real change.  I hope that man is still in there someplace, because as great as it is to say a bill has been passed and others are in the works, the fact of the matter is we will never be free of foreign oil as long as we have the type of auto industry that we do, and as long as lobbyists are in the picture.  And urging Americans to quickly accept a new energy source is great but we have to have something to choose from – just telling us to do that without giving us a viable alternative doesn’t really help.

Oh and before I forget – a word on the President’s hand gesticulation during the speech.  So. Annoying.  Am I alone in this?  I wanted to tie his hands down and I mean that in the least sexy way possible.  I found his repetitive use of gestures completely distracting and I think it took away from his message.  But that could just be me being picky.

Ultimately, BP did agree to set aside $20 billion dollars for the spill clean up today, which is something.  It’s going to cost a helluva lot more than that to begin to set things right but it is a start, and it could’ve been significantly less had the President not given that speech last night.  I hope that he will stand behind the urgency he spoke of and that he really will hold oil companies accountable for their actions and inactions.  I also hope, more than anything, that we can find a way to break our crude oil habit.


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