Summers: “Eclectic” Energy Agenda Needed

Photo by World Economic Forum, <a href="">via Flickr</a>.

The Obama administration says it wants a comprehensive approach to energy and climate policy, and anything short of that would be “unfortunate.” But Larry Summers, director of Obama’s National Economic Council, also said yesterday that they’re willing to take an “eclectic” approach that can appease all sides.

Via Energy & Environment News, here’s Summers at an event hosted by the Energy Information Administration yesterday:

If ever there was an issue where we needed to move from either/or to both/and, that it is energy …Instead of debating the relative importance of the priorities of different camps on the left and on the right, of the Southwest and of those in New England, of those oriented to the economy or those oriented to the environment, instead we have the opportunity to move forward by embracing the priorities of multiple groups, by taking an eclectic approach to formulating a new energy policy.

What does that mean?

Obama’s big offshore drilling announcement last week was intended to signal that his administration is willing to make concessions on energy policy in order to advance a broader environmental agenda. That was also at least part of the motivation for administration’s major expansion of nuclear power. The problem is, so far Obama has made all the compromises, with no sign that any Republicans or even moderate Democrats might come around to support his agenda.


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.