Dear President Obama, Three years ago I was so inspired by your message and by you that I did something I’d never done before: I knocked on doors for a presidential candidate, about 350 or so, here in the key swing state of Colorado.
You won Colorado – and several other important swing states — in 2008, and the general election, due in part to people like me: Energized volunteers who believed in you and your inspiring call for “Change We Can Believe In.”
A few years — and some milestone (non)decisions – later, I have to say I haven’t seen “change we can believe in”, or at least not change I can believe in.
This is true on a whole bunch of political fronts and issues. However, since we focus on electric cars, solar and the environment at SolarChargedDriving.Com, I’ll zero in on those.
One million plug-ins Yes, you’ve supported plug-in vehicles, for instance, calling for one million EVs in the U.S by 2015. And you’ve even been spotted driving a Chevy Volt for a few feet in Detroit — though, I have to wonder if you’d do this again tomorrow given your penchant for testing the political winds before you do much of anything.
You’ve also helped push the U.S. forward on fuel economy for cars and light trucks, and you’ve actively advocated for greener, more fuel efficient vehicles for the government fleet. There’s also the (in)famous Michelle Obama organic garden at the White House.
Generally, you’ve been better than your predecessor on environmental issues, or, at least, better at talking the green talk than him.
For instance, you’ve been an outspoken advocate for solar, wind and other renewables – though, I have to wonder how the Solyndra debacle will affect your public support for solar given your finger-in-the-political-winds style, a style that, I have to say, belies the kind of leadership I had hoped to see when I knocked on those 350 doors for you in Colorado three years ago.
In fossil fuel industry’s pocket? By and large, though, you’ve disappointed far more than you’ve satisfied on crucial environmental issues.
You’ve consistently sided with the fossil fuel industries on issues such as offshore drilling and clean air. In fact, your recent decision to scrub a proposed EPA clean-air regulation aimed at reducing health-threatening smog sealed a decision I’d been leaning toward for awhile: I will definitely not be knocking on any doors for you in Colorado in 2012.
Your frustrating foot-dragging on a pledge to put solar panels on the White House, a pledge you made almost a year ago and which still has not been put into action despite an initial announcement that the panels would be up by spring 2011, hasn’t helped either.
In fact, I’m 99% certain we’ll never see those solar panels on the White House – at least not during your administration. This thanks to your finger-in-the-political-winds approach to leadership, which, post Solyndra, seems certain to lead to more Cave-Bama-ism in the face of the heated anti-solar rhetoric we unfortunately hear so often from some of the talking heads on Fox News and on much of talk radio.
Keystone XL pipeline Finally, there’s your impending decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s oil sands – which stands as one of the dirtiest fossil fuel operations on the planet – to the Texas Gulf Coast.
I’m 99.9% certain you’ll come down in favor of the pipeline and fossil fuel industry interests on this one despite the brave and courageous protests against the pipeline which have been held at your front door for the past several weeks.
Lots and lots of environmental progressives won’t knock on any doors for you or make any phone calls for you in 2012, Mr. President. Not after you’ve made one decision after the other that sends the message that you take your foot soldiers for granted and, far worse, that you really don’t stand for the environmental change we can believe in and that our country, and our earth, so desperately need.
When you sign off on the Keystone XL pipeline, you’ll be signing away not only our planet’s future, you’ll be writing off the active, energetic foot-soldier support of thousands of folks around America, whom, like me, you have chosen to ignore in favor of the center-right agenda you appear to believe will get you re-elected in 2012.
No door knocking for Obama Lots and lots of environmental progressives won’t knock on any doors for you or make any phone calls for you in 2012, Mr. President. Not after you’ve made one decision after the other that sends the message that you take your foot soldiers for granted and, far worse, that you really don’t stand for the environmental change we can believe in and that our country, and our earth, so desperately need.
Yes, many of us might vote for you in 2012, though we’ll be doing so on a lesser-of-two-evils basis rather than according to an inspired belief in what you stand for.
Getting us to vote for you – but getting none of our foot-soldiering in the political field– might be enough to allow you to squeak out victory in 2012.
Then again, it might not be.
And, if you lose in 2012, a big part of the reason will be because you so consistently wrote off so many of the people you inspired so much in 2008. And all of this, ironically, in the name of political expediency and victory.
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