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Obama's 2012 state of the union address and our environmental perspective

Call me a tainted woman, but I wasn’t too optimistic anticipating the State of the Union address.

After reviewing my 2011 environmental summary of the State of the Union, I realized Obama made promises to put pressure back on big oil, get 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years (remember that one?), 80% of electricity sourced by clean energy in 2035, and break foreign dependence on oil.

Hmm…. Where are we today?  (Luckily Treehugger had some Cliff Notes for me…)

The 2012 State of the Union Speech was mixed with pro & cons for environmental goals. Examples:

  • Overall Energy sources: We want more clean.  Although Obama supports “clean energy” by continuing funding of cleantech projects and ending subsidies to oil companies, he supports dirty energy sources like offshore oil & shale gas (aka fracking.)
  • Good Ideas: Adding energy efficiencies for factories & business to upgrade buildings, DOD making a huge commitment to clean energy, and providing public land to provide “clean energy to power 3 million homes.”
  • BAD ideasExploring offshore oil & gas, supporting ‘natural gas resources’, characterizing natural gas AS clean energy, AND exploring “Safe” fracking.
  • Awesome news from last week you may have missed: Obama rejected the Keystone tar sands pipeline, which would carry carbon-heavy crude from Alberta (that’s Canada, folks) to Texas. Let’s hope he continues to block any similar proposals.
  • Secretly excited by attacking our #1 enemy:  Obama called out BP yet again for their horrible Gulf Oil Spill: But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago.
  • PissedObama already released a plan to release 38 MILLION acres of land for offshore drilling, including 7250 blocks in the Gulf. Goodbye, fish.
  • Better: plans for more tax incentives for manufacturing to increase efficiency  
  • At least he’s using the terms: Obama mentioned “Climate change” (but only once!) which was absent from his speech last year.  Analysts claim not using words like “climate change” lessens credibility and importance for opponents.

In case you missed your political fill, check out the full State of the Union Address from the NY Times.

Readers, any reaction?

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