I already pretty much knew that, but this Los Angeles Times editorial essentially sums up why: President Obama has been a disaster on environmental issues. He also realizes that environmentalists have nowhere else to go. So he's completely marginalized us and is catering to polluters, hoping to pull in campaign donations.
But those are moral and financial reasons to regulate, not political ones. Here's an argument Obama and his political advisors might grasp: It's possible for a president to so alienate his base that it fails to show up on election day. Something to keep in mind before November 2012 rolls around.
That's true, but Obama is clearly confident that the base is going to come out. I probably will, even begrudgingly. Of course, he also thinks that he's going to reignite the movement that got him elected, but that's not going to happen. So maybe he is miscalculating.
We are a long ways from 40 or even 20 years ago, when being an environmentalist was a ticket to electoral success. On the environment, things are much, much worse now than they used to be.