The awful oil spill in the Gulf–as well as the recent coal mine disaster in West Virginia–has added spring to the step of America’s hugely influential environmental lobby. After years of hand-wringing over global warming (aka climate change), the greens now have an issue that will play to legitimate public concerns for weeks and months ahead.
This is as it should be. Strong support for environmental regulation–starting particularly under our original “green president,” Richard Nixon–has been based on the protection of public health and safety, as well as the preservation of America’s wild spaces. In this respect, environmentalists enjoy widespread support from the public and even more so from the emerging millennial generation.
Conservatives who fail to address this concern will pay a price, even more so in the future. The Bush administration’s apparent clubbiness with conventional energy interests has undermined the GOP’s once-proud legacy on environmental causes. The oil spill could prove a great campaign issue for Democrats assigning blame for the disaster on lax Republican regulators and their oil company chums.
Full story: The Limits Of The Green Machine – Forbes