Skip to comments.Obama talks tough on climate & proposes ‘drilling for clean energy’ program
Posted on 02/13/2013 4:56:24 AM PST by thackney
An emboldened, second-term President Obama on Tuesday made clear that if lawmakers dont tackle climate change, he will do an end run around Congress and use his executive powers to curb greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.
The commitment delivered during Obamas fourth State of the Union address shed more light on how the president plans to make good on his inaugural vow to combat climate change as he showed he is willing to flex his muscle on the issue.
If Congress wont act soon to protect future generations, I will, Obama pledged. I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Although Obama didnt spell out details, the president could immediately direct his Environmental Protection Agency to impose new greenhouse gas emission standards on existing power plants, going beyond proposed mandates that apply only to new facilities.
Obama also pitched a drilling for clean energy plan, where revenue from oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters would be steered toward research into alternatives for fueling the nations cars and trucks. The Energy Security Trust Obama proposed would be used to support development of advanced electric vehicles, biofuels, natural gas-powered cars and other alternatives to petroleum fuels and the classic combustion engine.
Read more: Top Republican pledges tough oversight of new drilling rules
As part of the deal, Obama said his administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.
Similar ideas have surfaced on Capitol Hill before. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, included a plan for using drilling revenue to fund clean energy research in unveiling her 20/20″ vision for U.S. energy policy last week, though her. And two years ago, as a handful of senators tried to fashion a compromise on climate change legislation, one possible deal hinged on expanding offshore drilling in exchange for new limits on carbon emissions.
The president was clear about the magnitude of the challenge and resolute in his determination to use his executive authority to take action, especially if Congress wont, said former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Carol Browner, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
But some oil and gas industry leaders were skeptical.
We will have to take a closer look at the presidents proposals related to taxes and use of revenue from natural gas production to ensure that they dont have a negative impact on our ability to provide affordable energy and create jobs, said Regina Hopper, president of Americas Natural Gas Alliance.
Jack Gerard, head of the American Petroleum Institute, said that if Obama wants to make good on his commitment to an all-of-the-above energy strategy, he must follow through by implementing a national energy policy, lifting existing restrictions in support of responsible development of our vast energy resources, approving the Keystone XL pipeline and standing up against unnecessary and burdensome regulations that chill economic growth.
Obama used his nationally televised address to reiterate his call for America to take the lead in a global clean energy race, leverage the strides the U.S. already has made to expand wind power and drive down the costs of solar power. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we, Obama said.
He also advanced a plan modeled after the Race to the Top education program for states that would reward those that make big advances in energy efficiency. Details on the program were scarce Tuesday night but the administration signaled it would be used to support state governments that implement policies to boost efficiency and slash waste.
Echoing previous State of the Union addresses, Obama once again invoked the promise of natural gas, which produces fewer carbon emissions than coal when burned for power. Energy companies are using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to extract natural gas and oil from dense rock formations nationwide, unlocking previously inaccessible supplies. That natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater independence, Obama said.
Although the president stopped short of specifically pledging that the EPA would impose new greenhouse gas emission limits, Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute, said this is one area where Obama clearly could act administratively, even if Congress doesnt move first.
The administration can make significant progress in reducing emissions . . . by enacting standards for existing power plants, which represent the largest portion of U.S. emissions, Steer said.
Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, praised Obama for backing up his bold words on addressing global warming from his inaugural address by outlining clean energy solutions. But, he said Americans are counting on the president to clean up carbon pollution from power plants, which will help the United States fulfill its obligation to future generations.
Without congressional action, the EPA also could pursue greenhouse gas regulations aimed at airplanes, the fastest-growing transportation source of those emissions.
Lawmakers and energy analysts dont expect Congress to pass a comprehensive climate change plan, like previous, failed efforts to impose a cap-and-trade plan or tax on carbon dioxide emissions.
Eileen Claussen, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, said it would be best if lawmakers developed a market-based approach that put a price on carbon as a way to slash emissions. But if Congress doesnt act, many companies are prepared to work with EPA to craft sensible policies meeting both our climate and energy needs, Claussen said.
Environmentalists widely cheered Obamas tough climate change talk but insisted a major test of the presidents commitment is coming soon, when the State Department decides whether the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. That $7 billion project would ferry bitumen to refineries along the Gulf Coast, potentially expanding the market for oil sands crude harvested in Canada using more energy-intensive techniques than conventional supplies.
Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, which is organizing a major Keystone XL rally in Washington, D.C. next weekend, said that he was glad to see the president ratcheting up the rhetoric about climate change.
But, he added, the test of that rhetoric will be what he does about . . . the Keystone XL pipeline, with its freight of nearly a million barrels a day of the dirtiest oil on earth.
Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said it was important that the president acknowledged the urgency of the climate crisis, but climate change wont be solved on rhetoric alone.
We look forward to seeing the Obama administrations plan to cut greenhouse pollution without waiting for Congress but we do know this: It must include use of existing laws like the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution, a significant shift toward sustainable energy and rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic.
‘drilling for clean energy
Translation for those unfamiliar with the oil business.
Larry Sinclare will be doing a reentry on the Obama lease.
"We will cut our deficit in half next year, due to the enhanced revenues now arriving from our colonies on Mars."
The media would eat that up. Rainbows and unicorns. But, there's just one little problem ...
If Congress won’t act, he will. Why doesn’t he just change his name to Idi Amin or Baby Doc duvalier and be done with it? He’s the same as any other Banana Republic dictator we’ve seen over the last hundred years. OR, he and Michelle could rename themselves Ferdinand and Imelda.
Control the climate?
Sure ... control the Sun.
This from the perpetual campaigner who played leapfrog with two buses to go on a bus tour, flying the whole shooting match around, and who has spent more on junkets flying all over than ever.
Note, he didn't say it wouldn't be...
Hammering away at pretend crisis’ with attendant costs to the economy is baseline rhetoric for Marxists. Everything this fraud says and does must be understood under the rubric of fascist/communist tactics. There must be a reckoning with this pretender.
The claim of a desire for green energy is an outright lie anyway. If it were true, they wouldn’t be tearing out all the dams in this country or fighting against the most modern nuclear plants.
With modern generation technology hundreds of small to medium dams in this country can produce many times the electricity they once did and they don’t need to be replaced every 10 years like a windmill. (not to mention the added bonus of creating wealth in the form of high dollar lakefront property.)
The most modern nuclear plants produce more electricity from less fuel while producing minimal waste. Fukushima and Chernobyl style accidents are a virtual impossibility with the state of the art nuclear plants.
Modern oil, natural gas and coal are cleaner than ever and have their uses in both localized electricity production and as fuel sources for planes trains and automobiles.
Unfortunately, the American public does not understand Barack 0bama for what he is, what his goals are, and how that drives his specific policies.
Obama is a Marxist-Leninist; he would have been completely at home in Lenin’s Bolshevik Party of 1919. In fact, I think he fancies himself as another Lenin. As a Leninist, 0bama is driven by the goal of permanent absolute political power. All political power is to be organized into the central organs of the State, from which all decisions flow. To the extent that there are specific policies, all policies are geared toward the concentration of a political power monopoly. This means the destruction and extermination of all political opposition. For Lenin, it was the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. For 0bama, it is the GOP.
I know these people. They were my political science professors at Indiana University in 1980. 0bama and his ilk are my classmates who drank the Kool-Ade. They don’t know one damn thing about policy and governance except as to how it promotes political power. And that is their be-all end-all goal. What they do with the power once they have it is irrelevant, other than that they keep it.
So when 0bama speaks of “fundamentally transforming” America, that is his vision. America as a one-party Soviet state. How does he accomplish this? He looks at the national electoral map down to the precinct level, and realizes that he must destroy the GOP by destroying all of the GOP dominated precincts. By and large, those precincts are the suburbs around major cities. The people who live there are prosperous, educated, and somewhat independent of the State. In order to exterminate the GOP, he has to destroy those suburbs, and herd their residents into the collectives of the cities, where they will be dependent, docile, and reliably counted on to vote democrat (communist; no difference).
When examined this way, every policy of 0bama that seems to make no sense, such as his energy policy, makes absolutely perfect sense. The two things that make suburban living possible are good paying jobs for the middle class, and more importantly, abundant cheap energy. Take away the cheap energy, and suburban living is not sustainable. That is his energy policy, plain and simple. He’s not being stupid or a fool, he’s got a goal that he dares not publicly say. He starves the suburbs of the electricity for its homes and the gasoline for its cars. And the same energy starvation destroys the economic underpinning that provides the well-paying jobs that makes suburban living possible. People abandon their homes, and “downsize” into “sustainable living” in the cities, where they live dependent upon various subsidies for their daily needs. Such as health care, thanks to 0bamacare.
When I was at IU in the late 70’s and 80’s, and saw these things for what they were and tried to tell my friends about it, they didn’t want to listen. They were convinced their business degrees would get them the big suburban house. They didn’t care about “politics.” Most of them succeeded. But they were probably the last generation to do so. Even if they ignored politics, politics didn’t ignore them.
Welcome to the USSA, comrade suburban kulak. Now, off to the collective with you!
Boiled down to realspeak, they are saying that if they can figure out how to go along without it costing them anything, they will go along.
What they should be saying, and all of the rest of us repeating:
This country and our position in the world economy was not built on Marxism and Marxism will not be the force that returns us to the level of employment, prosperity and position in the world economic system that we once enjoyed.
WASHINGTON, February 12, 2012 API President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed President Obamas State of the Union call to invest in more domestic oil and natural gas, saying that more development will create jobs and help us become an energy superpower:
President Obama recognized the oil and natural gas industry as a robust economic engine that is investing in American jobs, generating billions of dollars for the government each year, and making our country more energy secure.
Even with the aggressive expansion of renewable and alternative energy, oil and natural gas will continue to provide the majority of the energy necessary to heat our homes, run our businesses, and fuel our cars for decades to come. Were going to need all sources of energy to fuel a growing economy.
Unfortunately, 83 percent of the land and offshore areas controlled by the federal government are still off-limits to oil and natural gas development. President Obama must follow through by implementing a national energy policy, lifting existing restrictions in support of responsible development of our vast energy resources, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and standing up against unnecessary and burdensome regulations that chill economic growth.
API is a national trade association that represents all segments of Americas technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms provide most of the nations energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.