Obama pledges to speed up oil and gas drilling permits on federal land
Washington (Platts)--12Feb2013/1023 pm EST/323 GMT
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday pressed Congress to pass a
cap-and-trade bill on greenhouse gas emissions, warning that he may use his
executive powers to impose pollution controls if the legislature does not act.
He also said in his State of the Union address that he would speed up
approval of new oil and gas drilling permits, and proposed that the US use
some of its oil and gas revenue to fund alternative fuels research.
"I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to
climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together
a few years ago," he said, referring to two senators who have three times in
the last decade proposed bills -- none of which passed -- that would have
capped carbon emissions but allowed open-market trading of emissions
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"But if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will,"
Obama added. "I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we
can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities
for the consequences of climate change, and speed [up] the transition to more
sustainable sources of energy."
The Environmental Protection Agency, which is currently finalizing its
greenhouse gas rules for new and modified power plants, is required under the
Clean Air Act to propose carbon emission standards for existing electricity
Such GHG rules would have major implications for coal-fired generation,
which is a major emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Renewables, such as
wind and solar, along with nuclear and natural gas-fired generation could
stand to benefit.
On drilling, Obama said his administration "will keep cutting red tape
and speeding up new oil and gas permits."
Some of the revenue from drilling on public land could fund an "energy
security trust" that would support research into alternative fuels, he
"Let's ... free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in
gas prices we've put up with for far too long," Obama said.
With the US last year opening its first manufacturing innovation
institute in Youngstown, Ohio, Obama said he would launch three more
advanced-technology manufacturing hubs, where businesses would partner with
the departments of Defense and Energy to support high-tech jobs.
He also suggested a competition among states to fund energy efficiency
"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 20 years," Obama said. "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."
--Herman Wang, email@example.com
--Edited by Deepa Vijiyasingam, firstname.lastname@example.org