Saturday, June 29, 2013

Obama's Climate & Energy Policy

President Obama spoke recently about Energy and bringing our sources and practices into a more sustainable era, saying “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing.” 

His three-part plan involves cutting carbon pollution, preparing states and cities for the impacts of climate change, and “lead[ing] the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.”  As part of this plan he calls for an increase in funding for more development in renewable energy, increasing our reliance on greener/cleaner energy sources and increasing efficiency (i.e. reducing energy waste). In addition the President spoke of establishing limits for the amount of CO2 power plants can release (FINALLY a carbon cap! Though he, wisely, didn’t use that term) and mentioned that the EPA would be setting new pollution standards. “We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air or our water, but power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free,” said President Obama. “That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop.”

President Obama also mentioned energy initiatives taken on independently by many individual states with 3 dozen having already set energy efficiency or renewable energy targets stating further that it was “time for Washington to catch up with the rest of the country.”  The Keystone pipeline, of course, was also mentioned—briefly—with the President stating that “The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”

As expected, House Speaker John Boehner had several things to say, all of which we are familiar with & none of it necessarily being true (it’ll destroy jobs, raise energy bills for the poorest and threaten our energy security etc.) President Obama responded to Bonehead’s remarks with a history lesson of sorts, reminding us all that we do not need to choose between the economy and a healthy environment, they can both grow and improve together.  The banning of CFCs didn’t destroy the refrigeration/air conditioning industries; The Clean Air Act & setting higher fuel efficiency standards didn’t kill the automobile industry (that was something else.), and that by doing those things we eventually figured out not only more eco-friendly ways to achieve our goals, but BETTER ways to do so!!  If environmental initiatives are so bad for business, why have over 500 companies (their shareholders, customers and CEOs) called for a Climate Declaration and for our government to take appropriate actions?

The President urged us all to take action and "speak up for the facts… Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices." 

You can watch the entire speech here:
 Obama's Energy & Climate Policy Speech (June 25 2013) 

You can also read more on this at:  The Daily BeastEnergy Agenda, 10 Key points to Obama's Energy Speech, & Obama's Energy Track Record

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