State of the Union

Obama's Mission to Save the Climate

Thanks Mr. President! :-)

If there were anything in President Barack Obama's State of the Union to give hope to us environmentalists, it was the unprecedented promise to confront climate change with or without Congress, and to pursue new energy technology in the process. Following his strong statements in his inaugural address about the ripeness of the moment to address a changing climate, Obama outlined a series of proposals to do it. Recognizing that the 12 hottest years on record all occurred in the last decade and a half, Obama said his most ambitious goal would be a "bipartisan, market-based solution," similar to the cap-and-trade system that died in Congress during his first term. But without legislative action, Obama threatened to act himself using executive authority. "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," he said. That will translate, White House officials said earlier in the week, to new regulations for existing coal-burning power plants and directives to promote energy efficiency and new technology research. The effort isn't one that can be stalled, he noted. Not just because of a warming planet, but also because of international competition from countries like China and parts of Western Europe that have gone "all in" on clean energy.


Energy experts signaled support of Obama's comments on energy security, including a plan for an Energy Security Trust to use revenue from oil and gas production on public lands to fund new energy research.


Kemo D. 7

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