Monday, June 7, 2010

Obama urged to wean nation off oil

An oil-soaked pelican gets a bath in Fort Jackson, La. Photo by Justin Sumberg, U.S. Navy/Marine Photobank.

Cynthia Tucker writes an editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, calling for President Obama to lead the country down the path to alternative energy:

Obama should remind the country that if we don’t start to shift from oil now, in 50 years the entire Gulf coast may be a disaster area, permanently closed to beach-goers, bird-watchers and fishermen. He doesn’t want that for his daughters, and most Americans don’t want that for their children, either. He should also remind voters that the U.S. military has spent decades entangled in the troubled Middle East largely because of our dependence on petroleum.

“This is a chance to turn a tragedy into an opportunity,” said Drew Westen, Emory University psychology professor and expert on political communications. “Americans are really ready to hear that the way to end their dependence on foreign oil is to end their dependence on oil.”

There are signs that Obama is finally finding his voice. Speaking in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the president vowed to “work with anyone from either party” to pass a bill that would support alternative fuels such as wind and solar energy. Top White House aide David Axelrod told me that Obama “believes strongly that the spill underscores the need to develop alternative sources of energy . . . There is heightened awareness that allows us to move forward this year.”

Read the full editorial.

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