This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
President Obama???s State of the Union address ran nearly 6,500 words, but the subject of energy didn???t get much attention as the chief executive entering his seventh year in office instead emphasized a three-pronged plan to revitalize the economic fortunes of the country???s middle class.
The word ???energy??? was uttered just twice as Obama quickly mentioned the country is ???number one in oil and gas??? and pointed to the drop in gasoline prices that is estimated to save the average household $750 this year. In the same breath, the president was quick to mention development of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
Obama also alluded to his veto threat on the Keystone XL pipeline, although he didn???t call it by name. Instead, he said Washington should ???set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline.???
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, responded on Fox News, saying the 700,000 barrels of oil a day the pipeline can handle ???will either go to this economy in this country or go to China.???
???That???s the choice. Thousands of jobs. I can???t for the life of me understand why he would say no to this,??? Ryan said.
Earlier this month, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama would veto a bill House and Senate Republicans plan to send the president???s way. In the past, Obama has dismissedthe 1,179-mile long project designed to transport oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico as potentially dangerous to the environment while not adding many permanent jobs.
???These are big job creators that he???s walking away from, and I wish he wouldn???t but we???ll give him the choice,??? Ryan said. ???We will put these bills on his desk now that we have the Senate and the ability to do this because, by the way Democrats agree with us on a lot of these things, and we???ll give him the opportunity with his veto pen to say whether he???s with us or not.???
The president came out strongly Tuesday night for action on climate change, saying ???no challenge ??? no challenge ??? poses a greater threat to future generations.???
???I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts,??? the president said, drawing cheers from environmental groups.
???We can choose to move forward and create a cleaner, more sustainable economy, or we can go backwards by caving to politicians who deny basic science and continuing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels that put our economy and environment at risk,??? saidfounder of NextGen Climate Action Tom Steyer, who is considering a run for U.S. Senate as a Democrat in California, in a media release after the speech.
However, while the president hailed his recent agreement in principle with China on limiting emissions, he did not mention the potential price tag for an international climate fund ??? an estimated $3 billion.
???It would be a controversial point and, frankly, I would be surprised if he mentioned it because Americans don???t really like giving money away to foreign countries,??? Maisano said.
In the opening moments of the speech, Obama gave a nod to the shale revolution that has boosted oil production to record levels, saying, ???we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we???ve been in almost 30 years.???
But Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, pushed back a bit, saying in a statement, ???America is now a global energy superpower thanks to our oil and natural gas renaissance, but most of this development has occurred in spite of the federal government.???
???Development on the federal lands under control of the administration has actually gone down consistently, and revenues from leasing also fell by over $1 billion in the last year,??? Gerard said.
While Obama maintained a serious tone throughout the State of the Union address, social media had a field day when TV cameras caught a glimpse Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who is known for his distinctive hairstyle.