State Of The Union

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Obama focused his State of the Union address last night on his message to win for the future. White House Communications staff pushed the message that the most important contest America faces today is not between Democrats and Republicans, but the contest with competitors across the globe for the jobs and industries of our time. (A hint towards clean energy?). This was no doubt a timely message following the national debate started by Amy Chua’s book on tiger mums…

Perhaps most interesting from a climate perspective were these two sections –

“I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. (Applause)  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. (Laughter)  So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”

“Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.”
OK, so he hasn’t said anything wildly fantastic here – but these are serious indicators that energy/climate is still an administration goal. The removal of subsidies is one of the most powerful leverage points we have in order to foster innovation and scaling-up of clean tech, so this is especially welcome.
Some other State of the Union coverage –

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