Obama Talks Energy Efficiency, Fracking, Renewables in State of Union

A big chunk of President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night was about energy.

The President enthused about the economic benefits of natural gas, but gave a nod to environmental concerns. Following is some of the energy-related text from the President’s speech.

“After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.

“The natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence,” he continued. “That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.”

According to an ORC International survey, Americans are not opposed to more domestic energy production, but they are unwilling to achieve it by sacrificing clean water, increased energy efficiency, and expanded wind and solar power in the process.

Besides natural gas, the President is still keen on renewables:

“Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.”

During the first 10 months of 2012, renewable energy sources accounted for 46.22 percent of new electrical generating capacity, according to the most recent Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects.

And the President wants to funnel some funds to more energy security and energy efficiency.

“Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.”

The US Departments of Energy and the Treasury have announced the availability of $150 million in tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the country.

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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