President Obama is now facing liberal criticism from a major name: Former Vice President Al Gore, the man who won the national popular vote in the disputed 2000 presidential election, and has since relaunched himself as a major environmental activist on the issue of global warming.
It is in some ways ironic to see Gore disparage a Democratic president from the left — it was, after all, the left-wing spoiler campaign of Ralph Nader that cost him the electoral votes of Florida, thus handing the White House to George W. Bush.
Gore published a blog post on Wednesday, titled “Confronting Disappointment”, criticizing the Obama administration for backing away from proposed smog regulations:
On Friday afternoon, as brave and committed activists continued their non-violent civil disobedience outside the White House in protest of the tar sands pipeline that would lead to a massive increase in global warming pollution, President Obama ordered the EPA to abandon its pursuit of new curbs on emissions that worsens disease-causing smog in US cities. Earlier this year, the EPA’s administrator, Lisa Jackson, wrote that the levels of pollution now permitted — put in place by the Bush-Cheney administration– are “not legally defensible.” Those very same rules have now been embraced by the Obama White House.
Instead of relying on science, President Obama appears to have bowed to pressure from polluters who did not want to bear the cost of implementing new restrictions on their harmful pollution–even though economists have shown that the US economy would benefit from the job creating investments associated with implementing the new technology. The result of the White House’s action will be increased medical bills for seniors with lung disease, more children developing asthma, and the continued degradation of our air quality.