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The POTUS His SOTUS, Part 2

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 9:28am

Jim LaneThis is part two of a two-part piece. Part one can be found here.

By JIM LANE, Editor, Biofuels Digest

Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.

But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water. Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.

I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.

Is it true — the United States, which famously failed to sign the Kyoto Treaty, is cutting emissions?

Yep — credit renewables, and credit replacement of coal with natural gas. Is this ironic or what? There’s a good chance that the US will meet the 2017 Kyoto targets it did not accept, while the EU, which has been pressing hard on all fronts since 2005 to meet them, will miss.

What is a “market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago”?

That’s cap-and-trade.

And the chances of cap-and-trade passing in this Congress?

Um, I’ll take “Zero Chance” for $500, Alex.

What is an Energy Security Trust?

Well, that’s (sort of) defined here, in “The President’s Plan for a Strong Middle Class & a Strong America”.

“The Energy Security Trust proposal, which is funded by revenue from oil and gas development on federal lands and offshore…will support research into a range of cost-effective technologies — like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, and vehicles that run on domestically-produced natural gas.”

Is there an actual bill in the Congress for this?

Not lately.

What else is the President proposing for energy?

Doubling wind and solar, increasing fuel economy standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025, directing cabinet officers to find executive actions that can be taken to tackle climate change, renewing the renewable energy Production Tax Credit, and Race for the Top Awards that will help states adopt energy efficiency policies.

Anything new in there?

Not much.

Will the Production Tax Credit include biofuels?

We’ll see. Hasn’t been a priority for the Congress in the past.

Industry reaction to the POTUS SOTU (in 140 characters or less)?

Fuels America: [Obama is 4] cutting our dependence on oil, fighting climate change, creating jobs. The RFS [is] crucial in encouraging investment in oil alternatives.

RFA: Biofuels can provide the eco-boost the U.S. economy needs.  Ethanol is a high octane engine driving economic growth and job creation, especially in rural America.

Growth Energy: The biofuels industry is already working for the American people, [providing] consumers with a choice and savings at the pump, reducing our dependence on foreign oil

NRDC: We can’t power a 21st-Century economy with the fossil fuels of the past. We [need] energy-efficient cars, workplaces and homes, clean power plants, renewable energy

What’s your take? Please feel free to comment below! This is part two of a two-part piece. Part one can be found here.

 

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