Here's a surprise: The Obama administration is blaming George W. Bush for the Gulf oil spill. And then, true to form, it adopted Bush administration policies. Just like it did in Iraq, just like it did in Afghanistan. Less than four months after Obama took office, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. found that the government was not prepared to handle a a major spill at sea.
The Obama administration's actions in the court case exemplify the dilemma the White House faced in developing its energy policy. In his presidential campaign, President Obama criticized the Bush administration for being too soft on the oil industry and vowed to support greener energy forms.
But, once in office, President Obama ended up backing offshore drilling, bowing to political and fiscal realties, even as his administration's own scientists and Democratic lawmakers warned about its risks.
Ever mindful of the environmental risks posed by drilling, the Obama administration took decisive action.
Mr. Obama's Interior secretary, Ken Salazar, quickly picked a fight with the oil industry when he retroactively withdrew 77 oil-and-gas lease sales in Utah that the Bush administration had approved in its final weeks. The move drew applause from environmentalists and criticism from oil companies.
Gulf Disaster not averted. No surprise there.