Even blue-sky goals fall short.
The buzzword in Washington, D.C., right now is “change.”
Throughout his election campaign, President Barack Obama promised to bring change to Washington. On a range of issues, from greater public accountability to greener energy policy, Obama has set high expectations for his administration. But as the president acknowledged in his inaugural address, fulfilling those expectations won’t be easy.
Invoking the heroism of George Washington’s troops at Valley Forge, Obama said, “In this winter of our hardship … let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.” Inspiring as such imagery might be, the reality behind Obama’s promises bears questioning. Are Obama’s goals for real? Or are they mostly blue sky, representing his ideals but not necessarily his practical intentions?
For the U.S. power and gas industry, the specific questions are whether Obama really means what he says about energy policy; whether his policy priorities are sufficient to accomplish the goals he’s set; and whether his “Yes we can!” strategy can survive in the real world, with all its practical constraints and party politics, after the “change” buzz subsides.
During inauguration week, visitors to Washington, D.C., witnessed a pair of brilliant marketing campaigns.