Obama fans have always had to deal with the fact that his two home-state interests — in coal and in corn ethanol — have seriously compromised his capacity to frame a coherent environmental or energy policy. The big picture — cap-and-trade with an auction — is fine, but the details are a worry.
Obama also has a home-state interest in nuclear power, in the form of Exelon Corporation. That’s fine with me, since I’m basically pro-nuke. And it’s even possible that, on the merits, Obama was doing the right thing when he watered down a bill to tighten notification requirements around releases of radioactivity. Those notifications are useful mostly to anti-nuclear activists, since there is almost never any protective action for locals to take, in the face of releases that pose no measurable health threat.
Still, it sure does look as if Obama wilted under pressure from Exelon. Worse, it looks as if his statements on the campaign trail haven’t been consistent with the actual record. And in this case it’s hard to believe he was misled by sloppy staff work; surely he knows what was in his bill, what is in his bill, and what happened to his bill.
Ugh. Ain’t those feet of clay ugly?