The Green Guide to Obama's State of the Union Address

<a href=Barack Obama" />

President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address on Wednesday covered a lot of ground, but a significant portion of the speech was dedicated to the all-important topic of energy security. Below, some choice quotes from the speech.

  • "From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean-energy products. Tomorrow, I'll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act." As we suspected, Florida will be the first to reap the benefits of Obama's $8 billion in spending on high-speed rail. Clearly, Obama believes that we will lag behind as a nation without a high-speed rail infrastructure.
  • "These nations, they're not standing still. These nations aren't playing for second place. They're putting more emphasis on math and science. They're rebuilding their infrastructure. They're making serious investments in clean energy, because they want those jobs. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America." And that, we presume, is why the White House recently invested millions in math and science funding.
  • "Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history, an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy." Innovation is important, but the most important kind of innovation right now is in the energy sector. And that means we can expect to see a lot more of it under this administration—with the ARPA-E program, for example.
  • "But to create more of these clean-energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives, and that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development." This part is a little contentious. Many green energy advocates think nuclear power is far too unsafe to be able in the long term. And what does opening up offshore areas for oil and gas have to do with clean energy? We're guessing Obama is advocating it as a means to secure American-made energy, albeit in a not-so-sustainable way.
  • "I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But—but here's the thing. Even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future, because the nation that leads the clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy, and America must be that nation." Bingo. It doesn't matter what side of the climate change debate you fall on. The fact is, clean energy is only going to become more important as oil supplies dwindle and coal continues to be vilified. Again, Obama equates dominance in clean energy as the key to our economic future—sounds reasonable to us.

Add New Comment

7 Comments

  • Douglas Karr

    Clean energy is an oxymoron... every source of energy requires more energy in to develop the appropriate output. Developing clean, cheap energy will only result in greater consumption. The only answer to reducing our dependence upon foreign oil and 'dirty energy' is to remove the demand. Quit living in ridiculously large homes when you could live in an apartment or condo, quit driving ridiculously big cars when you could ride a bus, quit moving to the suburbs when you work in the city, quit traveling when you could work remote... you and I are gluttons and we need to stop it.

  • Douglas Karr

    Clean energy is an oxymoron... every source of energy requires more energy in to develop the appropriate output. Developing clean, cheap energy will only result in greater consumption. The only answer to reducing our dependence upon foreign oil and 'dirty energy' is to remove the demand. Quit living in ridiculously large homes when you could live in an apartment or condo, quit driving ridiculously big cars when you could ride a bus, quit moving to the suburbs when you work in the city, quit traveling when you could work remote... you and I are gluttons and we need to stop it.

  • cvxxx

    Bad choice for the near future. What is needed is the same tax credits for Boardband line that we did for phone. Ultra high speed Wi-Fi Because communications are part of the future. High speed trains make sense as the airline experience get worse. We really need off shore drilling as the Swedish model show it can be done. Natural and manufactured gas can be brought online much faster at less cost than most "green alternatives. We have coal use it now while preparing for the future by letting the technology mature. Population control is another item that needs to be on the agenda. Right now we are breeding our enemies by ill advised health for children but no economy for them to work in. We should stop most foreign aid and let those people there solve their own problems. Maybe some one will come up with something new.

  • Chris Reich

    I frankly am tired of the use of the term clean coal. There is no such thing.

    Obama has put in a very disappointing year in my grade book.

    Chris Reich
    And thank you for pointing that out, Jensen
    www.TeachU.com

  • Iain Lowe

    The green energy advocates that are against nuclear don't seem to understand that there's no way wind, solar, or other 'green' energies will replace the astonishing amount of oil we burn. It's that or coal. Maybe technology will save us, but not before we get pretty close to the brink.

  • Jensen Gelfond

    Obama mentioned "Clean Coal" as one of the keys to energy success. Shouldn't this be part of your analysis?

  • Chris Reich

    I think the President is reading my Blog. He hit nearly every point I've posted over the past 3 months.

    But can he deliver?

    I see Obama as a great marketer but not a strong enough leader. If he expects to lay out a vision and have Congress run with it, forget it.

    Chris Reich
    http://apps.teachu.com/blog/te...