The Bloomberg Businessweek headline reads “Why the Greens Matter Less to Obama 2012,” and the article details the Obama administration’s willingness to ignore environmentalists’ concerns about issues such as Keystone XL crude-oil pipeline.
The protest garnered headlines, but even its organizers acknowledge they’re struggling to influence the Administration. Though Obama has implemented dramatic new fuel-efficiency standards for cars and is mulling whether to grant approval for the pipeline before deciding whether to grant approval, he caught fire from environmentalists who fought against his decision to continue offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and reject tighter ozone standards, decisions environmentalists fought against.
The campaign may be banking on polls that show Americans are far more worried about the economy than clean air and betting environmentalists like Thompson would never support a Republican over Obama. Liberals have many reasons to come to the polls, and the environment is just one of them, says Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. “Some people vote on one issue, but there are many, many, many more who vote on a much wider range of issues,” he says. “The President’s political team understands that better than anyone.”
These political calculations will make perfect sense to those who heard Steven Hayward’s April presentation to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society on the “death of environmentalism.”