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Obama's Contradictory Energy Policy: Combat Climate Change and Speed Up Drilling


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Obama’s call that we “must do more to combat climate change,” received a standing ovation. But what did he propose we do? His ideas are a mixed bag. He called for “market-based solutions” but didn’t elaborate on what that would mean. Certainly leveling the playing field for renewables by getting rid of mammoth subsidies for Big Oil would be a start. The president urged Congress to take action and said he would use executive actions to get the job done if Congress won’t. Of course the president doesn't have to wait for a Congress that has failed to take any meaningful action on climate change, writing for Grist today, David Roberts wrote about what actions the president could take right now

Even though Obama gave some lip service to renewable energy, he also kept up his support for natural gas and said that he would cut red tape to speed up new oil and gas permits, an idea that seems to run counter to doing “more to combat climate change.” The president continues to cling to tired notion of "all of the above" energy policy, which won't cut it in the climate change age in which we've now embarked.

He did however say he wanted to create an Energy and Security Trust to “shift cars and trucks off oil for good.” We'll see how that works out. The president stopped short of mentioning the contentious issue of tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. 

"I'm glad to see the president, after the long, odd silence of the campaign, ratcheting up the rhetoric about climate change,” said Bill McKibben. “The test of that rhetoric will be what he does about the purest, simplest test: the Keystone XL pipeline, with its freight of nearly a million barrels a day of the dirtiest oil on earth." 

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