In his 2014 State of the Union address this week, President Obama said his “all-of-the-above energy strategy” is working, largely thanks to natural gas, which if extracted safely is a “bridge fuel” that can power the economy with less carbon pollution than traditional fossil fuels, while the country transitions to cleaner sources of energy.
He said: “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.”
The President also highlighted solar, saying “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. 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.”
“We are extremely pleased that the President of the United States acknowledged the strength of the American solar industry and that the White House highlighted our new jobs data showing that 143,000 Americans now work in the solar industry,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director and president of The Solar Foundation.
The President said he is directing his administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution emitted from power plants.
Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director, issued the following statement in response to the speech. “Unfortunately, the sum total of the President’s commitments fall short of what American families need to ensure a safe, healthy planet for our children. We can’t drill or frack our way out of this problem. Make no mistake – natural gas is a bridge to nowhere. If we are truly serious about fighting the climate crisis, we must look beyond an ‘all of the above’ energy policy and replace dirty fuels with clean energy.”