SOTU address: Obama’s energy policy behind climate change curve


SALEM, Ore., January 27, 2014 — President Obama will probably highlight energy policy and its relationship to job creation and climate change in the State of the Union speech Tuesday evening.

The Obama Administration’s combined energy/ job creation /climate policy is encapsulated in two major policy documents:

  1. Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future (Mar. 2011)
  2. The President’s Climate Action Plan (Jun. 2013)

The Obama Administration has tied economic recovery and growth to energy policy and climate change from the very start. It is now etched into formal policy. Obama energy policy serves a three-pronged purpose: 1-Spur economic recovery and job creation; 2-Free the United States from dependency on foreign oil; and 3-Save the world from global warming.

The President’s vision is to create a global green energy economy for the 21st century led by the United States. He has said so for years.

Seed money financing came from three main sources. First, $90 billion in 2009 Recovery Act funding was spent to develop green tech. Part of the $80 billion in TARP bailout money given U.S. automakers was designated to retool factories to put one million hybrid electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Lastly, the Administration embarked on an ambitious 10-year $150 billion green energy investment program to keep the vision moving forward.

In the State of the Union the President will speak in glowing terms about how we have freed ourselves from dependence on foreign oil under his watch. He will say we’ve become a net oil exporter and are now the world’s largest producer of natural gas.

The president will brag that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are going down, too.


What the president won’t tell you is that the decrease in greenhouse emissions started two years before he assumed the presidency, largely driven by conversions of coal-fired to natural gas-fired electric power plants.

What the president won’t tell you is that both major policy documents restrict fossil fuel energy in all its forms, including natural gas. He won’t tell you the administration has cut oil, natural gas and coal production on federal lands over which he has direct authority.

The president won’t tell you that the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast predicts that fossil fuels will still supply 80 percent of all energy in the United States in 2040; renewables will supply only 10 percent. The president’s plan calls for producing 80 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2035, but provides no way to get there.


The president won’t tell you that the long-term oil and gas revolution is driven by private-sector, market-driven investments and drilling on private and state lands.

The president certainly won’t tell you he signed Executive Order 13605 to restrict natural gas production through “responsible development.” He won’t tell you that the EPA is about to impose emission standards on future coal and natural gas electric plants that will, by-design, prevent their construction. No viable technology currently exists to meet the aggressive standards.

The president won’t tell you that his multi-billion-dollar plan to put one million hybrid electric vehicles on the road by the end of this year is still over 800,000 short of its goal. Instead, this plan has left a trail bankruptcies.

Lastly, the president won’t tell you that most everything he is attempting to do now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change has already been tried by other Kyoto-bound nations. They’ve found that costly emission restriction schemes are not economically feasible.  These nations are cutting back to save their weak economies.

Even staunch EU nations are finally backing off their expensive emission commitments. Australia voted in a new government to get rid of theirs. Japan changed their commitment to a long-term goal. Canada has already dropped out of Kyoto.

The president’s anti-fossil, Kyoto-like climate action plan to reduce greenhouse emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels is going against the grain of global experience.

It’s time for the president to wake up and change course before his energy policy snuffs out a weak economic recovery, just as it is picking up steam. But don’t expect to hear that in tomorrow’s State of the Union Address.

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