Obama outlines “all-out” energy strategy in State of the Union Address

US President Barack Obama yesterday outlined his “all-out, all-of-the-above strategy” for energy in his State of the Union Address.

The strategy relies heavily on fossil fuels, with the President promising to open up more than 75% of the country’s potential offshore oil and gas resources for exploration.

But he also said he would end subsidies for oil companies and spur innovation in clean energy with new incentives.

“We’ve subsidized oil companies for a century,” he said. “That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising.”

The President did allude to the high-profile failure of Solyndra last year, but vowed not to cede the wind, solar or battery industry to China or Germany.

“Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail,” he said. “But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.”

He also promised the creation of a new Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate “unfair trading practices in countries like China”.

Obama admitted that it would not be possible to pass climate change legislation, but promised instead to work towards a clean energy standard to generate a market for innovation.

He said the administration will allow the development of enough clean energy on public land to power three million homes and promised that the Department of Defense “will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history” in the form of a Navy purchase order for enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.

Energy efficiency is also central to his proposals, which will include measures to help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and provide incentives for building upgrades.

“Energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, more jobs for construction workers who need them,” he vowed.

The plans will, Obama vowed, give the US “a future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity”.

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25 January 2012