What Obama Said About Energy in the State of the Union
President Barack Obama had a lot to say about energy at Tuesday night's State of the Union address. The president mentioned the word 23 times in the course of the speech, but his emphasis was mostly on fossil-based energy. He focused the majority of his comments on expanding offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling.
Obama called for opening "more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources" to drilling. His only reference to the massive BP oil spill—which occurred just a few days after the last time he called for a major expansion of offshore drilling—was to argue that oil companies should be able to "contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago." There was no mention of preventing those spills in the first place, however.
The president also called for expanded development of on-shore natural gas, and said that those who extract gas on public lands will be required to disclose the types of chemicals they're using. And he called, once again, for a "clean energy standard"—a proposal that was included in last year's speech but didn't make much progress in Congress. "The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change," Obama said. "But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven’t acted."
At least Obama supports recycling.
In the meantime, Obama said he is directing the Department of Interior to approve enough "clean energy" projects on public land to power 3 million homes. And he announced that the Navy plans to purchase enough clean energy to power a quarter of a million homes each year.
The energy portion of the speech is below the fold: