53 – US energy security was (again) ignored in the State of the Union address

State of the Union 2016

(From my LinkedIn posting of January 14, 2016)

From President Obama’s State of the Union (2016) address:

Listen, seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average.

We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy — something, by the way, that environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support. And meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.

Gas under $2 a gallon ain’t bad either.

Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future, especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. We do them no favor when we don’t show them where the trends are going. And that’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. And that way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system.

Now, none of this is going to happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, the planet we’ll preserve, that is the kind of future our kids and our grandkids deserve. And it’s within our grasp.

On the topic of ensuring the energy security of our children and grandchildren, I am critical of the current presidential administration’s failure to identify and address this as an important political priority. The American people have a vested interest in both energy security and environmental security as both are essential to our liberty and prosperity. While President Obama’s remarks appear to reflect an understanding of the need to transition away from fossil fuels, no coherent national energy security policy or program has emerged during his administration to achieve this goal. This is something that is clearly a presidential responsibility – one his administration has ignored. The goal of providing our children and grandchildren with a future that is both energy and environmentally secure will not be achieved in a combatant, hodgepodge manner. This has been a significant missed opportunity for effective and much-needed bi-partisan political leadership.

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