It seems as if the President is relaxing on climate change, when, during his January 28 SOTU speech, he addressed how much natural gas has helped the environment, specifically by reducing carbon emission pollution and inciting businesses to invest $100 million. However, Obama’s statements weren’t directed to environmental groups, who have remained his most loyal allies. It seems that oil and natural gas will be crucial to America’s energy future.
Just last year, at the 2013 SOTU, Obama stated that he was willing to take climate policy into his own hands and wouldn’t support the use of fossil fuels; back then, many still believed that climate change wasn’t real. Now that that debate is over and Obama has introduced his Climate Action Plan, environmentalists aren’t so mad that he gave a nod to natural gas, as they see Obama pushing the US towards a more sustainable energy future.
Obama sees the matters of fossil fuels, oil, natural gas, coal and clean energy as inextricably linked to jobs and energy independence. Although environmentalists aren’t exactly upset with the SOTU speech, it didn’t pacify any of their concerns regarding the pending Keystone XL pipeline or proposed regulations on emissions. Obama also failed to commend the EPA by name, an agency whose role has been vital in his Climate Action Plan. What we can take away from the President’s speech is that while climate change is undeniable, so too is natural gas.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
January 29, 2014
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