We hope you were able to tune in to the State of the Union address last night. If you weren’t because you find that any episode of Glee—new or old—is worth any minute you can give, well lucky you that Spinach is here to provide you with a light, afternoon Spinach Wrap.
As we said, it certainly wasn’t one for fulfilling your green love. The President did make a mention of CES and a mention of climate change (much to my surprise), but again, in the context of how tackling both of these can spur economic growth. He, instead, drew heavily on our ability to produce natural gas offering one heck of an endorsement in saying, “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.” To prevent Spinach lovers from regurgitating too much over this, he cushioned the statement by saying that companies will need to disclose the chemicals they use. (Um, it’s about time.)
He did cough up a defense of his regulations, but only after noting that he’s approved fewer than his Republican predecessor. He also made overtures to renewables by saying, “Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy…. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs.” Pretty tasty, I suppose?
The White House also offered up “A Blueprint to Make the Most of America’s Energy Resources.” Here it is:
Promote safe, responsible development of the near 100-year supply of natural gas, supporting more than 600,000 jobs while ensuring public health and safety:
In 2009, we became the world’s leading producer of natural gas. Tonight, the President directed the Administration to ensure safe shale gas development that, according to independent estimates, will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. These actions will include moving forward with common-sense new rules to require disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking operations on public lands.
Incentivize manufacturers to make energy upgrades, saving $100 billion over the next decade:
The President announced a new proposal to increase the energy efficiency of the industrial sector by providing new incentives and breaking down regulatory barriers for manufacturers to upgrade equipment and eliminate wasted energy in their facilities, saving $100 billion from the nation’s energy bills and reducing the amount of energy we import from foreign countries.
Create clean energy jobs in the United States:
The President called on Congress to build on our success in positioning America to be the world’s leading manufacturer in high-tech batteries and reiterated his call for action on clean energy tax credits and a national goal of moving toward clean sources of electricity by setting a standard for utility companies, so that by 2035, 80% of the nation’s electricity will come from clean sources, including renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, nuclear power, efficient natural gas, and clean coal. Because Congress has not yet acted on this and other key steps to achieve a clean energy economy, the President announced that the Department of the Navy will make the largest renewable energy purchase in history – one gigawatt. In addition, the President is directing the Department of Interior to permit 10 gigawatts of renewables projects by the end of the year, enough to power three million homes.
We’ll leave it to you to self-digest that nugget, with one note. We find it, um, interesting to say the least, that nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal have gone from “clean” energy sources to “renewable” energy sources. (We’re hoping that was a serious oversight with typos and that there hasn’t been a fundamental shift in the definition of what constitutes “renewable.”)
If you’re still curious and want more than our light wrap offers (such a piggy!), Grist’s David Roberts gives the speech his endorsement and offers his own analysis.