State of the Union highlights: energy a top priority

President Obama's State of the Union address was heavily focused on energy development and investments into renewable energy technologies. Americans should not have to choose been environmental safety and energy, he suggested.
Written by David Worthington, Contributor

Tonight, U.S. president Barack Obama delivered his Constitutionally mandated State of the Union address. The President called for greater development of natural gas and oil reserves as well as continued investments in renewable energy. Environmental stewardship is also part of the President's priorities. See the highlight below and read the full text of the speech:

  • Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than energy
  • Millions of acres are opened for oil and gas exploration. His administration will open 75% or more of potential oil and gas offshore resources.
  • American oil production is the highest in 8 years. Last year the U.S. relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years.
  • With only 2% of the world's reserves, oil isn't enough. The U.S. needs an all of the above strategy to develop all available sources of American energy.
  • The U.S. has a 100-year supply of natural gas. "My administration will take every possible action to safely develop energy.
  • The gas industry could create 600k jobs by end of the decade.
  • Disclose chemicals they use on public lands. Not put health and safety of citizens at risk. "We should not choose between environment and economy.
  • Public research funding over a 30-year course developed the technology to extract gas out of shale rock. Government support is critical to getting new energy ideas off the ground."
  • What's true for natural gas is just as true for clean energy. In 3 years, The U.S. has become world's leading manufacturer of high tech batteries.
  • Federal investments more than doubled renewable energy use and created thousands of jobs.
  • Shale gas shows payoffs on public investments are not always immediate. "Some don't pan out. Some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy..."
  • We should not cede wind, solar, battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to support renewable energy production like they do.
  • End taxpayer giveaways to oil industry. "The oil industry has never more profitable, and clean energy never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits now."
  • Spur innovation with new incentives. Political differences are too deep now to pass a plan to fight climate change, but there is no reason for Congress not to set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. "So far you haven't acted."
  • Directing my administration to allow development of clean energy on public land to power 3 million homes. The Department of Defense (the world's largest consumer of energy) is working with us so that the Navy will purchase enough clean energy to power 250,000 homes a year.
  • The easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. Help manufacturers eliminate emery waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to operate their buildings. That will result in $100 billion lower energy bills over decade. That will yield less pollution, more jobs for construction, more manufacturing.
  • In the next few weeks Obama will sign an executive order to speed construction projects. "You need to fund the projects."
  • Use half of the money that we are spending on war to pay down the national debt, and use other the half "to do nation-building right here at home." There's never been a better time to build. The construction industry was hit hard when the bubble burst.

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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