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05 August 2008, 10:58 AM

Many of us, self included, have long lamented that environmental issues never play much of a role in presidential elections. I firmly believed that if Al Gore had stressed some of those issues in 2000 he'd be the one now winding up his second term. John Kerry likewise, maybe.

Well, now we've got a campaign where the environment and energy are front and center and we’re getting hammered.

That is to say, the moratorium on offshore drilling is in serious jeopardy, the virtual moratorium on nuclear power plants is likewise in jeopardy, and much of the press coverage is tilted alarmingly in the wrong direction.

One bright spot, in case you've missed it, is the T. Boone Pickens project and tv spot, where he says the country must go full-bore for wind electricity and says, "we can't drill our way out of this problem." Bravo for him.

But in the papers these days, McCain is going after Obama on drilling and reactors and Obama is, uh, modifying his position in response to the attacks and to the polls.

I'm not making any criticisms here, if anyone wonders. I understand that politics is the art of compromise (or compromise is the art of politics, whichever you prefer) and no one with political ambitions will be Simon-pure.

It is a bit of a drag, however, that when, for the first time we have environmental topics at the center of a national political race that the coverage is so narrow.

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