President Obama called on Congress to pass climate and energy legislation that would include the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants, more offshore oil drilling along the U.S. coast, and increased funding for developing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency.
But the president made no mention in his State of the Union speech of controversial legislation to impose a price and a cap on carbon emissions. By backing away from cap-and-trade legislation that already has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, Obama signaled his willingness to work with Republicans to pass a scaled-back version of climate and energy legislation this year.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a leading Republican on energy issues, said he was optimistic that a bipartisan energy bill could be passed this year, but he implied that such legislation would only pass if cap-and-trade provisions were removed. In his speech, Obama said his administration will invest $8 billion in high-speed rail lines in California, Florida, and the Midwest.
And he told Congress that even if some members doubted that global warming was real, “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.”
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.