President Barack Obama Tuesday night completely ignored the contentious issue of the Keystone XL pipeline and whether his administration will green light the project after years of bureaucratic delays, and instead called for more taxpayer dollars to be spent developing alternative energy.
Combating climate change also figured prominently in the president’s State of the Union address, which the president blamed for causing heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and Hurricane Sandy.
“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late,” Obama said.
The president signaled he would aggressively pursue cap and trade gimmicks and said that if Congress does not act, he will bypass lawmakers and use his executive powers to “prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
By sustainable, the president said his administration would continue to pursue solar and wind energy. What he did not address is how the Energy Department will avoid making the same mistakes that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and lead to the Solyndra scandal and numerous other bankrupt green energy companies.
Nor did he discuss the growing opposition from his environmental base to wind power, or China’s ability to undermine the solar industry in the U.S.
“Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy,” Obama said.
An unusual proposal was to allow more development of oil and gas on public lands, but only if the profits reaped by the federal government is used to create an energy security trust fund financing his goal “to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”
“After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future,” Obama said. “We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it.”
“We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen,” Obama said.
“But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”