Thursday, December 11, 2008


For info on Obama appointees, don’t count on AP articles

by Larry Geller

I read the AP story on page A3 of today’s Advertiser hoping to learn a bit more about the coming appointees. So far, it’s been disappointing (if you’re a liberal), and so I want to know more about each appointee. The newspaper has a choice of which articles it runs, of course, and for some reason they give us the bland stuff too often, IMHO. Since I want to learn more, I need to go to the web for my news.

If you want to learn about Nancy Sutley, who will chair Obama’s White House's Council on Environmental Quality, mentioned at the end of the article, you’ll have to go elsewhere. Like several other AP articles, this one reports that she is gay, but not that she was an EPA official under Clinton and says nothing about what role she might have played during Enron.

If AP is going to mention that she is gay, at least they might note her qualifications. That would be news. Labeling her in each story makes you wonder what AP means by including that label but omitting more relevant information.

As for Obama’s pick for Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, another AP story appears to have it wrong:

He has shown little support for building a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, one of the major issues facing the department. Obama also has expressed dislike for the Yucca project.

This ignores Chu’s expressed position on Yucca Mountain. Sam Smith at the Progressive Review identifies a government report which is signed by Chu and includes this recommendation prominently on page 2:

• Employ an integrated approach to manage used nuclear fuel and high-level waste, including interim storage, licensing of the Yucca Mountain Repository as a long-term resource, and exploration of optimal future waste management options.

There’s no doubt that Chu supports this. His signature is right there on the report:

Chu sig

The rest of the report also shows that he supports deployment of nuclear reactors. For example:

Establish a national priority to immediately deploy advanced light-water reactors to meet our nation’s increasing energy demand….

Now, as environmentalists get increasingly (and properly) upset at this and other Obama appointments, I would just like to note (as I have reminded myself) that Obama did not lead a movement to clean up the environment. He did not, as Al Gore did, lead a movement to reduce  the causes of global warming. He did not lead marches on Washington to fight racial discrimination, even though the long, hard civil rights struggle contributed to his election.

While different movements supported him, he is not of them, and it is becoming clear that he is acting, so far at least, as though he owes them nothing.

Maybe we just have to get used to it.



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