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Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

Even without legislation, Obama is leading on energy

Q: Now that even China has put a price on carbon emissions, the U.S. is the only major economy yet to take action on global warming. Why does this issue seem to defy political leadership? Who, in your opinion, is MOST responsible for the leadership failure--President Obama and Senate leaders for not forcing a deal? Republicans unwilling to consider anything that might raise energy prices? Coal and oil state Democrats? Republican moderates who bowed to conservative pressure?

Although President Obama has failed to break through the Senate gridlock on environmental legislation, he should be credited for leading action to build a clean and secure energy future for America.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made a $90 billion beginning, creating jobs to make homes and businesses more energy efficient, investing in renewable energy and modernizing the electrical grid. The Departments of Defense and Energy recently announced a partnership to realize a vision of a safe, secure energy future. The DOD will test innovations in clean energy and move those that work to the marketplace.

The President recognizes that our national security depends on reducing our energy vulnerabilities, such as the grid and our dependence on Mid-East oil. Although the oil and coal industries have succeeded in buying off senators and scaring the public that "cap and trade" will destroy jobs and raise taxes, the EPA has pushed forward to ban the worst polluting emissions.

Given fierce opposition, Obama's success in leading Congress to pass historic legislation in healthcare and financial regulation contradicts the rap that he has failed as a leader. And lets give him credit for wielding DOD, DOE and EPA to lay the foundations of a cleaner, more secure and sustainable energy future for this country.

By Michael Maccoby

 |  August 5, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
Category:  Failures , Government leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Time for old-fashioned horse trading on carbon | Next: Dr. Maya Rockeymoore: 'Be a student of yourself'


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I happen to know that the National Park Service and other agencies were advised never to discuss climate change in public during the Bush administration. Those were dark times. True, Obama can do more--but it is worth pausing to remember what things were like in 2007.

Posted by: anyikui | August 6, 2010 2:43 PM
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Obama actually did pass some climate legislation, raising the emission standards for cars. Not enough, but something. More than the prior 8 years.

Posted by: fmjk | August 5, 2010 8:28 PM
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Sarah Palin should not be president as the Girl above me points out.

I shouldn't be president either, and probably Girl shouldn't be either. But that doesn't keep us from seeing the obvious. The president is an ambitious, smart man. But he's in way over his head right now.

That's why he can't get anything done. It doesn't help him that he has the two worst leaders of congress in modern history, Pelosi and Reid. It's a deadly combination. I suspect with this leadership, the Democrats could have all Senate seats and still not pass a coherent set of legislation.

I enjoy the Keystone Kops routine these guys put on, but I guess if I was the president, I'd be frustrated by this as it will probably cost him a 2nd term.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | August 5, 2010 7:00 PM
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Sarah Palin is claiming the President is over his head!This is coming from a person who quitted a job that most intelligent women would have respected such a position and felt this would be inspirational for women to follow behind them! Most women have a hard time succeeding even though have the education and experience, (especially those of color) that was apparently handed to this flaky woman that protests with the TeaBaggers saying how bad the economy is, yet pay this person over $100,000 a pop to say nothing! She is getting to much press and thank God, Washington Post is not part of this disrespect she have exhibited! She has an obsession with President Obama and she is using the Republicans to help her with this fantasy. She is like a gnat that will not go away, she ran against VP Biden yet all she spoke about is President Obama, she wrote about him in her book, she asked him to call her about the oil spill, why would he, she was not in office when the Alaska Oil spill! She quit her job as governor, why did she not request the governors of AL, MS, and LA to phone her if she had advice in which we know she did not! She have a special needed child that I know for experience, need their mother attention, she has a teenage daughter that has a baby that need her mom,yet she is exposed to the media with all her personal mishaps, quite sure advised by her mom. Two other daughters that need her so it will not be another teenage prenancy, yet she spend every moment obsessing with President Obama. The last thing is showing no class by referring to a man and the President of the United States genital area! If this is the best that the Republicans have to offer, this is pitiful. Any other candidates take the lost, when will you realize, it is not about hating President Obama, she has like little school girls have, a crush and you guys are paying her to address it!! What is her husband saying about all of this?? She is pathetic!

Posted by: DBamaGirl | August 5, 2010 3:59 PM
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