Parsing Obama’s SOTU on climate matters: A paean to shale gas

Obama’s SOTU address will be spun in many different ways but I felt it was a remarkable paean to gas. Climate change is undeniable but he took care not to call it global warming. Not a lot of alarmism as he praised the effects of using gas. He avoided mentioning the words “fracking” or “shale”. It was all “natural” gas. He tried to give some credit to solar energy but only as an afterthought. Besides, his implication was that gas is not really a fossil fuel!

The entire section is just GAS! Gas! Gas! 

Extracts from Obama’s speech in blue. My comments in red.

“Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy.  The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.

Yes. Entirely due to fracking and shale gas and shale oil. The effect of renewables has been negligible.

One of the reasons why is natural gas – if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.  Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas.  I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.  My administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and job growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, and our communities.  

A tribute to shale fracking – without saying so.

And while we’re at it, I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.

Except if there is shale gas to be found.

It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too.  Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. 

Really! Pounding a solar panel into place!!!!! And not one of those homes gives up its connection to the grid.

Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.

Like shale gas – which as we all know – cannot be called fossil energy.

And even as we’ve increased energy production, we’ve partnered with businesses, builders, and local communities to reduce the energy we consume.  When we rescued our automakers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars.  In the coming months, I’ll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.

And while he was speaking it was 17°F with light snow in Washington and fossil fuels were heating the city.

Taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet.  Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. 

True and entirely due to the use of gas.

But we have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods. 

Forget that we had less storms in 2013 than ever before. And Califiornia’s drought is due to climate change. Schwarzenegger said so and he should know.

That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air. 

The EPA will be my palace police. And of course if we reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions all droughts and storms and ice melting will miraculously cease!!

The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way.  But the debate is settled.  Climate change is a fact. 

Oh my!. Climate change is settled – ( He never said it was global warming)!

And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”

Meaningless rhetoric. Just how his children’s children will get to look him in the eye is a little unclear. When was the last time you looked into the eyes of a grandparent and blamed them or praised them for the state of the world?

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