April 1 2010
I have disagreed with President Obama on just about every one of his policies since he came to office - from ending the DC Voucher program to his effort at revising the economy through programs like "Cash for Clunkers" to trying KSM in a civilian court to the most recent government-takeover of health care.
But when the President announced his plan to expand domestic oil drilling, I was reluctantly, but pleasantly, surprised. Certainly the president will face criticism from environmentalists, who are dead-set against any reliance on oil and wholly committed to alternative energy solutions. And he'll endure criticism from Republicans and some conservatives who will lament the fact that the Pacific Coast, Alaska and parts of the Gulf of Mexico will remain off-limits.
These concerns on the right are not unfounded. As my friend Nicki Kurokawa points out over at The Inkwell, it's worrisome that President Obama might be using this expansion of oil drilling as a "concession" for a cap-and-trade type policy later on.
That being said, Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute reminds readers over at The Corner that "coming late to the party, after all, is better than washing your hair all night out of spite."
Because the fact is, we must become less reliant on foreign sources of energy - it's vital for our national and economic security. At a time when our economy is suffering, opening up our energy supply will help drive down prices, boost job creation and help us remain competitive in the global marketplace.
So while this plan is by no means perfect -- and it reeks of bad-faith politics - it deserves a modicum of respect.
And after the past year, that's saying something.