Good Move, Obama

President Obama is doing the right thing by canceling a lease sale for offshore oil drilling about 50 miles from the Virginia coast.

The plan was suspect from the beginning. Obama surprised environmentalists by playing to Republicans and agreeing to the lease sale, which Gov. Bob McDonnell badly wanted to help his campaign dream of having the Old Dominion become “The energy capital of the East Coast.”

There were any number of problems with the plan. There are still no known commercially viable oil fields off the mid-Atlantic coast. Geology hints that natural gas is a possibility, but probably not oil. Fishing and tourism interests from North Carolina to New Jersey were skittish. Lastly, the Navy, a huge economic player in Virginia, said that more than half of the areas where drilling could happen were too close to combat training zones.

Even if there is oil off the coast, it would not be available until perhaps 2020 and would likely meet U.S. oil demand for a matter of weeks, not years. What needs to be done, as Obama says, is to work harder at finding renewable energy sources with fossil fuel as a temporary and transitional stopgap.

In the Virginia offshore case, Obama is torpedoing it because he hasn’t been able to find a solution to the BP and Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

This all makes Obama look bad, but it makes McDonnell look even worse. McDonnell’s short tenure has seen setback after setback, from the Confederate History Month gaffe to hiring Fred Malek, who once put together a list of Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics at President Nixon’s behest, to head an important state panel on government streamlining.

Add to this Kenneth Cuccinelli, and you have a real mess.Speaking of him, it turns out that the University of Virginia will be fighting his civil investigative demands in the global warming research matter.

Not a bad day. And it’s time to take a hard look at the McDonnell Administration

Peter Galuszka

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15 responses to “Good Move, Obama”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Hard to argue with you on this Peter.

    But those Prof. Risse calls the Tiger Riders will sure try.

    I would like to see more data and information on the Bay of Campechie (sp?) spill by the Mexican State oil company in 1979.

    What was the long term damage, even if Top Kill works?

    Tip of the hat to Cargosquid. He came back much later and noted his grave error in beleiving the Coast Guard and BP the no oil was leaking.

    There is no alterantive to cutting consumption. DeGrowth and Shrink to Prosper — no Shrink to Survive.


  2. Groveton Avatar

    I love liberals. How is liberal icon Sen Robert Byrd doing? You know, the guy who is third in line for presidential succession. Oh yeah … did I forget? He was also a member of the Klu Klux Klan. In fact, his local chapter unanimously elected him the top officer of their unit. He wasn't just a klansman, he was a klan leader.

    Fred Malek (and it is Fred, not Ken) was a political operative in the Nixon Administration. He compiled lists of Jews in government. Not good but he didn't burn crosses on front yards and prance around in his klucker robes.

    What do people say about Fred (not Ken) Malek?

    "I have known Fred Malek for more than 20 years and he is a friend for whom I have great respect, trust and admiration,'' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who is Jewish, in a statement. "He is a man of high principle and he has no bias of any kind whatsoever. In addition, Fred is a renowned expert on organization and efficiency, and he brings with him a unique set of skills and experiences that will serve the people of Virginia well. "

    "The attacks on Fred Malek for being an anti-Semite are unwarranted,'' said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "Except for one instance, for which he has apologized and atoned for– acceding to President Nixon's order to compile a list of Jews in government – he has no record of being anti-Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League strongly believes that one mistake does not an anti-Semite make. Mr. Malek has reached out to and maintained good relations with the Jewish community. His appointment by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to the Government Reform Commission is based on Malek's credentials as a political, philanthropic and business leader and should not be controversial. I am pleased to call Fred Malek my friend."

    "Fred Malek is a loyal and patriotic American and a staunch supporter of America's ally, Israel,'' said Kenneth Bialkin, chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League. Malek is on the League's board. "I know him personally to be wholly free of bias and he has proved many times over the years his loyalty to the highest principles of freedom, human rights and international tolerance."

    Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, both granted indulgences for Malek's 'mistake,' and two of the three employees who were transferred told blogger Steven I. Weiss two years ago that they held no grudge.

    Gotta love those libtards – one standard for themselves, a completely different standard for everybody else.

  3. Look, I'm a fan of small is beautiful, appropriate technology,and all that, but shrink to prosper is the singe stupidest idea I have ever heard.

    Unless you plan on prospering by letting a whole lot of other people die.

  4. We knew this was going to happen. Expect to see the price of this decision at the pump in three to five years.

  5. Groveton

    You. Lost me

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    We've had space disasters, yet the national will was to find the cause of the problem, fix it and move forward. What caused the failure in the Gulf? From an engineering and from a regulatory perspective?

    That would be a helluva lot better than surrendering. We need to find more sources of domestic energy and improve efficiency. Why do we want to quit?


  7. TMT took the words out of my mouth.

    That was exactly my line of thinking.

    The old Portuguese Carvels were ballasted with rocks. Many of them went to sea where they jumped p and down until the rocks hammered the planks off the bottom of the boats. No one came back to tell them what was going wrong, until one lucky soul made it back to the beach.

    Then they fixed the problem and conquered the Ocean.


  8. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Thanks for pointing out my sloppy mistake of calling Fred Malek Ken Malek. I have fixed.
    I am not sure about the relevance of Robert Byrd's 1940s Klan ties with Virginia politics. Byrd, like Malek, renounced such dark spots in his history. The point is that McDonnell seemed not to know about Malek's history at all and this isn't the first time.
    The McDonnell-Cuccineli era has been a wild ride and questons are bound to come about the competence of both men and their staffs. Sooner or later, Virginians are going to get tired of all this high pressure controversy that they are paying for. We all have bigger problems and fish to fry.

    Peter Galuszka

  9. Anonymous Avatar


    Tossing rocks at empty pigeon holes again.

    What makes you think Sen Byrd is a 'liberal' by any known definition?

    You need a long weekend rest.

    You can do a lot better.

    We are counting on you for more that tossing rocks.


  10. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    And Groveton,
    As a one-time West Virginian, I agree with Observer that Robert Byrd isn't a "liberal" other than being a Democrat. He does do a tremendous amount of pork and everything in the Mountain State is named after him. But he also fought integration and lots of social programs (as long as they didn't benefit the UMWA directly).
    I think we all need a long weekend. Have a nice one.
    Peter Galuszka

  11. Groveton Avatar

    I stand by my comments.

    Robert Byrd is supportrd by the DNC. He is a US Senator and third in line to be president. He is a former Klan leader and segregationist. I do not hear liberal complaints about Byrd nor do I hear Democrats insisting that he be replaced in the Senate.

    Fred Malek is a businessman who made a serious error back in the Nixon Administration. He made his error at the behest of the president but he should have refused the order he was given. Since that single episode he has made amends to correct his mistake. Gov McDonnell appointed him to a board. He is not a US Senator. He is not in the line of succession to the presidency.

    If it's OK for people to take McDonnell to task for appointing Malek to a short term board it is OK for me to call the decades of support given Byrd by the Democratoc Party into question.

  12. Groveton Avatar

    However, I do think it was bizarre for McDonnell to say he didn't know about the Malek controversy. It has been well documented and broadly discussed for years. There is a certain sloppiness to Gov McDonnell's decision making process. The Confererate History month proclamation was pretty dumb. I chalked that up to inexperience. Then, to say he didn't know about a controversy that has been public information for years is pretty dumb too.

    It seems like Gov McDonnell is either getting no advice, bad advice or letting his minions make decisions he should double check.

  13. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    You don't hear complaints about Byrd b/c he's about 125; and to make complaints about him at this late date would only reflect badly on the complainer.

    Come on–Groveton–can you not find better arguments than this??

  14. What is the governor going to use for transportation money now?

    Rte 66 from the beltway to route 50 is literally falling apart. More patches than roadway.


  15. In the December 1974 issue of Popular Science Magazine, there was an article titled "Solar Cells: When Will You Plug Into Electricity from Sunshine?" that discussed the future of solar energy. The article predicted that by 1986 the cost per watt at peak power would be down to $0.30 ($0.60 in today's dollars) based on projections from the National Science Foundation. There were also predictions for giant solar-cell systems that would provide solar energy to towns and utilities by 1990.

    By 2007, solar prices were actually about $3.66 per watt (about six times higher than predicted), and were predicted in this 2008 article to fall to $2.14 per watt in 2010. And we still don't have any of those giant solar-cell systems yet.

    From Carpe Diem

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