Reaction to Obama's State of the Union Address

Obama Boosts Climate Action in State of the Union

01-28-2010 // Tony Iallonardo
White house

On January 27, 2010 President Obama delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress tonight and called on Congress to enact comprehensive energy and climate legislation.

After a year of wrangling over the issue with a bill clearing the House, but slow progress in the Senate, NWF lauded the president’s giving a boost of momentum for the issue.

Last year, the president showed the leadership and determination to help the House pass the energy reform legislation that is overdue for America. His speech was a call for action to help the Senate take on Big Oil and move a bipartisan clean energy and climate bill that creates jobs, limits pollution from energy companies, and reduces our dependency on oil from hostile nations.

The President took on the oil lobby tonight and hit a home run in the fight for real energy form and action on climate change.

According to NWF’s senior vice president Jeremy Symons, there are three takeaways on energy from the speech:

  • First, despite all the president had to cover tonight, clean energy was in the President's Top Three. Jobs, financial reform, energy. The lineup is set. All the speculation fed by opponents that the President would duck and run because Democrats lost a seat in Congress: wrong. Move on. New story.
  • Second, the president called for the Senate bill to be "bipartisan." No repeat of health care. This is a tip-of-the-cap to Sen. Graham and his determination to merge energy independence with sensible measures on clean energy and pollution. Sen. Graham quickly jumped on a misleading headline in the New York Times today with a press release saying "we can be successful this year" in passing the bill he is working on daily with Sen. Kerry and Sen. Lieberman.
  • The final takeaway: The president called for REAL reform, not half measures. He called for "a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America." That means we need to get serious about cutting pollution.

As the president said, America’s challenges are profound. By embracing clean energy, America can address several of these challenges at once by improving our energy independence, creating jobs and passing on a better future for our children.

A bipartisan leadership team is ready to go in the Senate, led by Democrat John Kerry, Republican Lindsey Graham, and Independent Joe Lieberman. Majority Leader Harry Reid has made clear that he wants the Senate to act on an effective, bipartisan bill this year.

“Big Oil and their allies are spending millions of dollars to block progress. They are standing in the way of clean energy jobs, energy security, and clean air. The Senate must deliver this year, and senators will need the president's help to overcome the obstruction that has stalled past efforts at real energy reform,” Symons said in a press statement.

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