Week of June 1 – to – June 4, 2010
The first week in June could well go down in history as the moment energy and climate legislation in the U.S. reached its tipping point. President Barack Obama, speaking at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, said that he was committed to getting the John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman-sponsored American Power Act passed – the first time he has hitched his political fortunes to the bill. “I want you to know, the votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months,” Obama said of the bill. The reason for Obama’s belated devotion to wrangling votes is, of course, the gusher in the Gulf, which has continued unabated now since April 20. But there was a noticeable shift in the tone of The White House in the past week, as BP’s efforts to stem the flow have again floundered and assurances from company executives have proved to be overly optimistic or misleading. BP head Tony Hayward, for example, said that the “Top Kill” maneuver that failed last week had a 60-70 percent chance of success. Even promising results from the newest try at the containment dome can’t help BP now.