Obama will use Oval Office speech to politicize the Gulf oil disaster

Bill Weckesser
Has the Obama administration willfully been scuttling clean up efforts in the Gulf so that the oil could make its way to shore and onto the beaches and birds for maximum political leverage?  Now Politico is reporting that the President will use his oval office address for a full court, no hold-bars, assault on the oil and energy industries. Mike Allen writes in Politico:

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies plan a major new push for a broad global warming bill, fueled in part by public outrage over the BP disaster, according to top aides.

Joel Benenson, a pollster for the Democratic National Committee and Obama's presidential campaign, argues in a new briefing for top Capitol Hill officials that a comprehensive energy bill "could give Democrats a potent weapon to wield against Republicans in the fall."

"The oil spill is intensifying the public's desire for clean energy investments and increased regulation on corporate polluters," Benenson writes in the briefing, which he prepared on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters. 

"In the aftermath of the spill, people firmly believe Congress needs to do more than just make BP pay. Even when pressed with opposition messaging that now is not the time for some ‘job killing energy tax,' people coalesce around comprehensive clean energy reform. Consequently, support for a comprehensive energy bill is very high. With the right messaging, that support holds strong in the face of harsh opposition attacks."

Obama plans to include a call for an energy bill in his Oval Office address about the Gulf on Tuesday night. And the Obama administration has told key senators that "an energy deal must include some serious effort to price carbon as a way to slow climate change," according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

"No traditional ‘energy only' bill [without climate-change provisions] meets their sense of what's credible as a response to BP, or the president's own 2008 rhetoric," the aide said.

Benenson's briefing argues that "Making BP Pay Isn't Enough." His recommended "messaging architecture": First, "frame the opposition" as "Big Oil and corporate polluters who have blocked energy reform for decades" and "politicians protecting the special interests that fund their campaigns." Second, "illustrate the costs of our dependence: ... $1 billion a day on foreign oil ... Oil spill destroying jobs and livelihoods." Third, "tap into deeply held values." "Put America back in control of our energy situation. Cut foreign oil spending in half. Invest in energy that's made in America and creates millions of jobs for Americans."

It's amazing to see this unfold before our eyes.  There's a terrible oil drilling accident.  Lives are lost.  Oil is gushing from a well that's about a mile down.  But, instead of protecting the American people from the oil, the administration rebuffs all efforts to contain and clean the contamination.  Instead, it rushes to bring in the attorneys and demonize the oil industry.  Shell-shocked American's and an impotent main stream media focus solely on the damage -- not the administration's contribution to the pollution -- and march comatose to the melody of government to the rescue.
Has the Obama administration willfully been scuttling clean up efforts in the Gulf so that the oil could make its way to shore and onto the beaches and birds for maximum political leverage?  Now Politico is reporting that the President will use his oval office address for a full court, no hold-bars, assault on the oil and energy industries. Mike Allen writes in Politico:

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies plan a major new push for a broad global warming bill, fueled in part by public outrage over the BP disaster, according to top aides.

Joel Benenson, a pollster for the Democratic National Committee and Obama's presidential campaign, argues in a new briefing for top Capitol Hill officials that a comprehensive energy bill "could give Democrats a potent weapon to wield against Republicans in the fall."

"The oil spill is intensifying the public's desire for clean energy investments and increased regulation on corporate polluters," Benenson writes in the briefing, which he prepared on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters. 

"In the aftermath of the spill, people firmly believe Congress needs to do more than just make BP pay. Even when pressed with opposition messaging that now is not the time for some ‘job killing energy tax,' people coalesce around comprehensive clean energy reform. Consequently, support for a comprehensive energy bill is very high. With the right messaging, that support holds strong in the face of harsh opposition attacks."

Obama plans to include a call for an energy bill in his Oval Office address about the Gulf on Tuesday night. And the Obama administration has told key senators that "an energy deal must include some serious effort to price carbon as a way to slow climate change," according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

"No traditional ‘energy only' bill [without climate-change provisions] meets their sense of what's credible as a response to BP, or the president's own 2008 rhetoric," the aide said.

Benenson's briefing argues that "Making BP Pay Isn't Enough." His recommended "messaging architecture": First, "frame the opposition" as "Big Oil and corporate polluters who have blocked energy reform for decades" and "politicians protecting the special interests that fund their campaigns." Second, "illustrate the costs of our dependence: ... $1 billion a day on foreign oil ... Oil spill destroying jobs and livelihoods." Third, "tap into deeply held values." "Put America back in control of our energy situation. Cut foreign oil spending in half. Invest in energy that's made in America and creates millions of jobs for Americans."

It's amazing to see this unfold before our eyes.  There's a terrible oil drilling accident.  Lives are lost.  Oil is gushing from a well that's about a mile down.  But, instead of protecting the American people from the oil, the administration rebuffs all efforts to contain and clean the contamination.  Instead, it rushes to bring in the attorneys and demonize the oil industry.  Shell-shocked American's and an impotent main stream media focus solely on the damage -- not the administration's contribution to the pollution -- and march comatose to the melody of government to the rescue.