The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Obama Defies Greens

In a piece on the proposed oil sands pipeline project from Canada to Texas, the center-left Talking Points Memo picks up on an important point but doesn’t quite drive it home: “Canadians can do what they want with their oil in Canada, and there’s little American protesters can do to stop them,” notes the post.

Correct.  The green position is that President Obama must either kill up to 20,000 jobs to show symbolic opposition to a Canadian oil drilling plan or risk the wrath and condemnation of the mighty green movement.  President Obama can’t kill the oil sands development by blocking the pipeline; he can only ensure that the US derives no benefit from the oil next door.

That, presumably, is why the White House announced today that the pipeline will go ahead, greens and New York Times editorial board notwithstanding.  There was no other rational choice he could make.

No significant political force in the United States is as incompetently organized and led as the greens.  Republicans should rejoice; green extremism, hysteria and incompetence seriously undercuts Democratic coherence and credibility.  That is the point that TPM and its allies need to be making; until the rest of the left knocks some sense into green heads, the environmentalists will continue to serve as one of the Republican Party’s most helpful auxiliaries.

Published on August 26, 2011 11:57 am
  • http://www.thenewnarrative.blogspot.com George Rudolph

    You may be right about the green movement but the “peak oil” crazies have done an incredible amount of damage to America’s ability to expolit fossil fuel and create an energy policy. It is taking a long time, but I think we are breaking through.

  • Corlyss

    “No significant political force in the United States is as incompetently organized and led as the greens. Republicans should rejoice;”

    If only the movement didn’t have significant buy-in from industries the Greens have extorted massive support from. Republicans can’t rejoice because a sizeable portion of the Republican establishment has swallowed the Green kool-aid for decades so they can seem more appealing to moderate Dems and Independents (aka Dems in drag or denial or both).

    @ George
    I thought we had a break-through with the Climategate revelations. Instead, because of traditional parties complicity in the global financial meltdown, Green parties globally have enjoyed undeserved popularity as a protest vote. Making up important slivers of coalition governments, they make the most of their leverage by not only preventing governments from shutting down massive outflows of scarce tax dollars to Green madness, but actually getting governments to double-down on their “investments” in globaloney whims.

  • Jim.

    Huh. Looks like Obama wants a second term after all.

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    “If only the movement didn’t have significant buy-in from industries the Greens have extorted massive support from.”

    Y, unfortunately the rent-seekers like GE see the green [nonsense] as a profit center. As long as there is money to be made on it, they’ll help keep the hot air balloon afloat.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I blame the enviro-misanthropes and their Democrat fellow travellers for our restricted energy supply induced inflation, a travesty in this economy and in the midst of deflation in the money supply. Modern civilization has replaced muscle power with energy power, and this leveraging is responsible for our productivity.
    Cheap energy = Productivity
    The Enviro-misanthropes have it all wrong, the evolution of the Humano-centric ecology is Mother Nature’s finest creation.

  • SLEcoman

    TPM is “center left”? Are you kidding? According to Rasmussen, 67% of likely voters believe scientists have exaggerated AGW science. Yet TPM swallows AGW ‘science’ hook, line, and sinker. If an institution is to the left of 67% of the American people, then it’s not in the center.

  • SLEcoman

    TPM is center left? Are you kidding me? According to Rasmussen, 67% of likely voters believe scientists have exaggerated AGW science. When an organization is to the left of 67% of likely voters, it’s not in the center.

  • John DeFayette

    I am exhibit A supporting your thesis. As long as the Democrats continue to even pretend to listen to the Enviro-misanthropes (thanks JL, that the perfect title!) I will be voting Republican for the first time ever in 2012. All that trust I placed in Obama seems rather misplaced today.

  • Vernon A. Cornell

    …Obama wants to get elected…?
    If this it true, his next act should be to “enforce”
    drilling on the north slope. this pipeline is but
    30 percent used…what a wasting asset..!
    Enviros will not be happy…again..!