Monday, June 23, 2008

Lead or Leave?

I know I'm supposed to be on maternity leave, but Tom Freidman's Sunday opinion column on Bush's lack of leadership on the oil front--essentially he says that Bush's new energy bill is just another hit at the oil crack pipe-- the end of the Democratic primary got me to thinking (again) about the lack of leadership on the environmental front.

Freidman excoriates Bush for his energy plan, entitling the column Mr. Bush, Lead or Leave. And Mr. Bush will not lead (that we have 7 years of history to show), but he will inevitably leave in January. Then what? I posit that the environmental stewardship exhibited by the candidates for president have been an inch deep and a mile wide, particularly when it comes to presenting a comprehensive plan which incorporates green building incentives with energy policy and infrastructure development.

McCain and Clinton both fell for the summer vacation from the gas tax gambit. The miniscule savings for the individual consumer is far outweighed by the collective damage of removing a funding source for, among other things, public transportation.

In addition, despite his attempts to distance himself from Bush on the environment and position himself as an environmental steward, McCain has supported Bush's plan to drill for oil offshore in sensitive waters,
and scored zero out of 100 on the latest League of Conservation Voters Scorecard which rates elected officials on their votes in the most recent Congress.

Obama has made the right noises about the environment, but still lacks a comprehensive plan to address the environmental trifecta of energy, building and infrastructure.

So, the choice is not lead or leave--but simply lead. The electorate must lead by calling for a comprehensive environmental plan from the next resident of the oval office.

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