Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama's Intersection of Foreign and Domestic Policy

Environmentalists have known for years that America's dependence on foreign oil was problematic for the nation's foreign policy. It requires us to bow before OPEC; instead of being unconstrained, we're forced to make foreign policy decisions based on who has the the oil (i.e. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia), not who has real problems (i.e. Darfur).

This is why Obama's announcement yesterday that he would require the EPA to review Bush-era guidelines which prohibited California and other states from adopting auto emissions guidelines stricter than federal emissions standards is such a good move.

We need to applaud any move that increases our chances of becoming energy independent. In the end, America will save in lives and in treasure; we won't have to fight for oil and our energy dollars will go to domestic suppliers and spent in our domestic markets.

This move, ultimately requiring more stringent auto emissions standards will be difficult on the auto industry, but now is the right time. If you let the auto companies pick when they'll change their behavior, we'd never have seat belts, airbags or anti-lock brakes.

Besides pure common sense, another reason Republicans, like John Boehner need to support his policy, is their own ideological convictions. Traditionally, conservatives take a states-first mentality. They normally don't like the federal government dictating to the states. However, when Bush was doing it, they didn't mind. With Bush gone, the GOP should return to its conservative principals and support a move that puts states - and the country - first.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I agree that there should be tougher standards on emissions. Although having different standards between States could make things confusing and could hit the U.S. auto industry particularly hard (but they did it to themselves).

What the Repubs are concerned about is continuing to get big money support from their friends in the auto industry when election season roles around....or getting lobbying jobs down the road from the car makers and the oil companies...so they can make extra money to buy their dream vacation home, or that yacht or private plane that they want.

They aren't too concerned with putting Country first. Neither are the Democrats....at least not in years past. If the two parties were really concerned...the U.S. would have started a massive Manhattan style project 10-15 years ago for energy independence, and we would be in a better position right now to kill two birds with one stone (strategic energy independence, and environmental protection).

I blame Clinton AND the Bush's. Clinton was too busy playing global cop...fighting wars everywhere and cheating on his wife... while the Bush's were under the complete control of the oil companies (a World from which they came).

Now we have to play catch up. And i'm not so sure that Obama is up to the task.