It’s rare that politicians take a longer-view of their policy implementation –longer than the next election cycle, that is. It’s understandable in one way, the chessboard mentality and Machiavellian practices of keeping and holding office mean constant compromises, diluted and ‘forgotten’ promises. President Obama knows about thwarted maneuverings, with his Republican nemeses constantly road-blocking any decision that counter their dogmatic approach to power. But, the fight continues.
And so it is the case with new clean energy protocols in Washington. Obama is cleverly working his magic on some fantastic new initiatives to pump money into fuel-free technology without any recourse to increasing the federal debt – and still the Republicans plan to block his moves. Why? It seems that Republican House Speaker John Boehner, and his cronies, are more interested in partisan politics and holding grudges. The BBC recently reported “US President Barack Obama has called for pumping $2bn (£1.3bn) from gas and oil royalties over a decade into clean energy research… But creation of a trust, at $200m a year for 10 years, would still require congressional approval, at a time of sharp divides over energy issues.” These divides are completely unnecessary, as the new technology needed would create thousands of jobs and the revenue would come from federal lands currently used for oil drilling. It’s this last point that seems to irk Republicans the most – they want to increase offshore drilling, and need Obama’s yes-vote for that. Ridiculous.
At a time of political instability in the Middle East and unpredictable petrol prices, this is the way to look forward, to progress. New energy initiatives are essential, and despite setbacks in solar-power investments in Obama’s last term (governmental investments came up short with Solyndra, to the tune of $500m), this is the price that sometimes must be paid for advancing new models in clean energy. Now is the time to support more of these initiatives, because the cost to all of us will be much greater in the future if we don’t.