Looks like the Shock Doctrine is working once again:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Friday he would be willing to support limited additional offshore oil drilling if that's what it takes to enact a comprehensive policy to foster fuel-efficient autos and develop alternate energy sources .Shifting from his previous opposition to expanded offshore drilling, the Illinois senator told a Florida newspaper he could get behind a compromise with Republicans and oil companies to prevent gridlock over energy.
Republican rival John McCain, who earlier dropped his opposition to offshore drilling, has been criticizing Obama on the stump and in broadcast ads for clinging to his opposition as gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon. Polls indicate these attacks have helped McCain gain ground on Obama.
"My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," Obama said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post...read on
Obviously, Obama changed his position because of public opposition to the ban and because he thinks he could use it get Republicans to sign on to other legislation as he says. It's an election year. But I would suspect they will extract another 100 pounds of environmental flesh before they do. That's how they operate. Maybe we could agree to store nuclear waste at Fisherman's Wharf in exchange for some investment in wind power. Or perhaps we could agree to drill in Yellowstone in exchange for subsidies to the automakers to put solar panels on their office buildings. If there's one thing you can count on it's that Republicans negotiate in good faith.
And our pal Naomi Klein:
Klein: This is just a classic example of what I mean by ‘disaster capitalism,’ which is using a real disaster, a real crisis, or a shock-like the oil shock-to push through policies that you can’t get through in normal circumstances. So here you have a shock, you have a real oil crisis. People are in pain, they want solutions. And you got the President, the “Extortionist-in-Chief” whose job is actually to solve the problems, but instead he holds the country hostage. And he says, “Listen, unless you give me ANWR, you’ll never drive again.”
Gomez: Wait a minute, so this is, just so I’ve set it up correctly, this is so you’re saying that the President’s taking advantage of this crisis…
Gomez: …to get into ANWR.
Klein: …to push the wish list of the oil and gas industries. These are not real solutions. People need real solutions. They’re presenting this as if it’s a short-term solution and you guys know full well that it’s a long…if it’s any…going to have any kind of impact on gas prices, it’s in the long run. But people are so desperate for solutions that they’re willing to buy anything.