On his new political blog at The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn looks into the policy implications of the Gulf oil spill, arguing that public pressure for clean energy legislation has been fairly muted in the aftermath of a massive environmental disaster. In the post, Cohn presents a persuasive argument that the lack of public action may limit the chances of pushing comprehensive legislation through the Senate.
The political scribe points to relatively tame Hands Across the Sand offshore drilling protests as dismaying evidence of insufficient grassroots engagement. Estimating that "a few thousand" people participated in the protests nationwide, Cohn says, "That's a perfectly respectable figure in normal times. But with the nation's worst environmental catastrophe--an oil spill, of all things--in progress? Under those circumstances, the numbers seem a little disappointing."
Not everyone is convinced. Writing in the Huffington Post, Josh Nelson from EnviroKnow questions Cohn's estimates and wonders whether listless grassroots engagement is the primary hurdle to passing clean energy legislation.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.