Speaking at the Pershing Insite conference in south Florida on June 9, journalist and television commentator David Gergen predicted that the Republican party would fail to take control of either the House or Senate in this November’s elections. “The GOP will make gains,” admitted the senior political analyst at CNN who also had posts in four different Administrations referring to this year’s elections, “but not enough to grab control” of either chamber.
As for energy legislation, Gergen said there seemed to be a window of opportunity for the Obama Administration to promote an energy bill in the wake of the public anger over the BP oil spill, but what he characterized as the “nearly universal negative reaction” to cap-and-trade had led the Administration to decide this was not the time for that type of initiative. That’s so despite a call on June 11 by the American Energy Innovation Council, which has the backing of seven leading American business leaders, including Bill Gates and Jeff Immelt of GE, for the U.S. to more than triple government spending on energy R&D to $16 billion per year to help jumpstart the private sector’s investment in clean energy and deal with climate change.–James J. Green