With only hours until President Obama makes his prime-time address from the Oval Office, which will include some kind of discussion of "reduc[ing] our dependence on oil and fossil fuels," prominent Republicans are warning Obama not to "exploit" the oil spill. "The American people expect that this administration will not use this opportunity to advance their liberal agenda," Indiana congressman Mike Pence said today. "While American livelihoods are in immediate danger and we watch oil gush into our waters and wash up on our beaches, now is not the time to push ideology, but to fix the problem," echoed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In other words, let's just clean up the spill and keep things the way they are, which is perfect.
At the moment, though, a majority of Americans may not agree that energy reform is part of the "liberal agenda": Even with the economy still struggling, a recent poll showed that, by a 56–37 margin, Americans believe that "protecting the environment" is more important than "keeping energy prices low." That sentiment will fade as the leak is plugged and its destruction fades from our beaches/memories, which is why Obama has to act with urgency if he wants energy reform to have any teeth.
Republicans accuse Obama of 'exploiting' oil [Political Ticker/CNN]