Obama's State of the Union: "Nation that Leads the Clean Energy Economy Will Lead the Global Economy"


Photo via WhiteHouse.gov
" . . . And America must be that nation"
So said Obama at tonight's State of the Union Address, in urging Congress to pass bipartisan clean energy reform. Obama spoke out strongly in support of the legislation, in a speech that saw the president strike a tougher tone than usual. Obama asked for a compromise on a clean energy bill that would include more nuclear development and allowances for offshore drilling, in move designed to entice Republican interest. The call for America to lead in clean energy seemed to resonate thoroughly well . . . here's the rest of what he said.I'll follow up with a more elaborate post detailing what the energy segments of his speech meant tomorrow--for now, here's the New York Times' John Broder on the energy and climate implications of his speech:

The president urged Congress to enact comprehensive energy and climate change legislation that he said will create jobs, cut oil imports and reduce emissions of the heat-trapping gases that contribute to the warming of the planet.

The term "comprehensive" has until now signaled some form of cap-and-trade measure under which the government sets a ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions and allows companies to buy and sell permits to meet it ... Mr. Obama is encouraging Senate efforts at a compromise that could include new incentives for oil and gas development, accelerated construction of nuclear plants and new funding for research on so-called clean coal to win Republican votes.

And here's the key parts regarding energy in Obama's speech:
"I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy; and I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future - because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation."
It's a good tack to take--kudos for the president on the angle. Anyone have any initial reactions to the energy policies outlined in Obama's SOTU?

Tags: Barack Obama | Clean Energy | Congress | United States