…but many key environmental words and phrases were.
Despite skirting around some “red flag” vernacular, President Obama did lay out some lofty goals.
As part of a pitch for building up infrastructure, Obama called for 80 percent of Americans to have access to high-speed rail within 25 years
He called for 80 percent of America’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035 — though he offered no specifics on how this might get done, and his definition of “clean” included natural gas and “clean coal.”
Climate Progress filed Obama’s inclusive definition of clean energy under “the ugly news”, saying,
The ‘ugly’ news: The phrase “clean energy” has been redefined. Obama said, “Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all…“
If you’re in the camp that believes coal and nuclear power are not and cannot ever be “clean energy” (as many environmentalists are) then I can see how that could be seen as “the ugly news”.
I’m just not so sure that such a black or white view on the topic is the best thing for the environment…and as such, I’m open to exploring cleaner forms of energy, even if they’re not the cleanest.
What about you?
President Obama went on to throw a very public and powerful “right hook” directly at the oil companies. As Red, Green, and Blue says,
One big exception to the general nice-making: taking on the oil companies. “We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”
In that same vein, Greenwala reports that the President set a goal for the US to be the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015.
So what words and phrases did not appear in the 2011 State of the Union address? Climate change, global warming, carbon, and a few other terms that would have likely sent Republican opposition into a feeding frenzy.
So the environment, on a macro scale, was largely absent from the President’s address, but the focus on clean technology, clean energy, green jobs, and alternative fuels was promising.