Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011
If President Obama was looking for the political (or policy) center in his State of the Union address, there was an early sign that he may have succeeded - with rumblings of dissatisfaction coming quickly Tuesday night from environmentalists and oil lobbyists alike.
On one side, oil allies were miffed that Obama called for an end to federal oil subsidies and even took a dig at the industry by noting companies are "doing just fine on their own" and waving them off as "yesterday's energy."
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard, who had lobbied the White House in advance for Obama to promote the economic virtues of expanding oil drilling, said Obama missed an opportunity to highlight real job creation and economic recovery opportunities."
Environmental advocates were pleased that Obama, despite calling last week for a government-wide review of regulations, appeared to defend restrictions on greenhouse gases and other pollutants. He referred to "commonsense" restrictions that explain "why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe."
But those same activists were disheartened when Obama embraced nuclear energy and coal as examples of "clean energy sources."
Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said he and his group "object to his attempt to redefine clean energy to include nuclear and so-called 'clean coal.'"
By Peter Wallsten, THE WASHINGTON POST