Drill Baby Drill
At first glance, this is an incredibly short-sighted capitulation:
The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.Why give up the ultimate bargaining chip in the climate legislation debate so soon in the process? Maybe because the real bargaining chip is state revenue sharing:
One major flashpoint in the negotiations has been whether to share drilling revenue with states and to allow states to opt in or out of drilling along their coastlines.This way Obama has taken a Republican talking point out of the way (if one can even call "drill baby drill" a talking point), and dangled a carrot in front of each of those Senator's heads where drilling will be allowed. Notice that it won't be allowed along the West Coast or the Northeast, where most Senators are already on board with energy policy reform.
It was unclear late Tuesday whether Obama endorses revenue-sharing for states.
That being said, this seems like an incredibly risky strategy. Hopey the changey works!