President Obama announced yesterday that the United States would release 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The move is intended to lower gas prices, which have risen sharply as a result of the Libyan civil war and become an obvious source of economic pain for Americans and political pain for the Administration.
The day before Obama’s announcement, Al Gore published a long Rolling Stone essay where he complained that Obama, “failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change.”
Gore seemed most rankled that the President has “called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States, apparently in an effort to defuse criticism from those who argue speciously that “drill, baby, drill” is the answer to our growing dependence on foreign oil.”
And this was before Obama’s latest decision to open the reserve, which will probably give him a small boost popular with voters, three-quarters of whom consider high gas prices to be an extremely or very serious issue according to a recent AP poll. But, like his decision during last year’s BP crisis to talk about new sources of energy without mentioning climate change, his refusal to engage with the fate of the planet has left environmentalists wanting. “The climate crisis is real,” Gore wrote. “It is time to act.”