Obama to tout natural gas benefits in State of Union

Reuters, By Ayesha Rascoe & Richard Cowan, January 23

Washington – President Barack Obama will encourage the country’s booming natural gas output in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, while defending his administration’s energy record, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Obama was expected to devote a significant portion of his speech slated for 9 p.m. EST Tuesday calling for a “new era for American energy,” which will include promoting domestic natural gas production, according to documents provided to Democratic party sources.

U.S. natural gas output has grown sharply in recent years thanks to advances in drilling techniques that have unlocked massive shale reserves.

Obama has repeatedly stressed the importance of domestic natural gas output, pointing to natural gas as a possible area of compromise for Democrats and Republicans.

[…]

The White House is weighing including a natural gas production goal [in] the speech, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

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Raja

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  • of wasting and polluting water and causing earthquakes.
    One way to shake things up!

    It is worth remembering that the Founding Fathers were all traitors.

  • Obama’s call for “new” anything is tiresome and deceitful. He is interested in perpetuating the “old” ,entrenched,crony-club of One Percenters.

  • So we’ll frack our way to energy freedom then?

    There will be no energy free lunch, that is, there will be significant negatives to all the possible energy sources we have. There may be much less downside to solar and wind, but until they scale up to the required output we won’t know.

    I get it, natural gas burns very clean and we have quite a lot of it in inaccessible spots. Coal doesn’t burn very clean, and while we have a lot of it, only some of it is easily accessible and there are environmental costs in its production. (Western coal, for example is fairly easy to mine but it requires some different mechanisms and procedures to burn, not the least of which are explosion controls because it tends to go boom between bunker distribution and boiler burner entrance.)

    As with all other facets of American politics, we have difficult choices because none are easy and potential negatives can be serious. What we need is an honest conversation, populated by rational thought and a willingness to find consensus/compromise that best prepares us for the future.

    To which i can only laugh Gogol’s bitter laugh. We’re not going to get it from “I didn’t tell you that your other hand would fill up with shit much faster than the hand I got you to focus on and filled with hope.” We’re not going to get it from anyone in the Republican field. We’re not going to get it from either party at lower levels. And we may, as a population, even be beyond being able to have such a conversation among ourselves.

  • that no one will inhabit places where fracking contaminated the water tables, at that rate the habitable lands might be confined to mountain tops, unless they are strip mined.

  • In combat one should be very suspicious of painless moral choices. When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are that you haven’t looked deeply enough.” ~ Karl Marlantes

  • NYT’s The Caucus, By John M. Broder, January 24

    The president used the address to indirectly counter some of the fierce criticism he has received from Republicans and oil industry officials over his decision last week to block construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from oil formations in western Canada to refineries on the Gulf coast. President Obama did not mention the pipeline decision – which some Republicans have vowed to reverse – but he stressed the increase in oil and gas production over the past two years. He said that American oil production is the highest it has been in the past eight years and imports are lower than at any time in the past 16 years.

    After mentioning that he had already opened millions of new acres onshore and offshore to oil and gas development — which is true, with a significant slowdown after the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico — Mr. Obama also announced an intriguing piece of news.

    “Tonight, I’m directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources,” Mr. Obama, a potentially huge expansion of offshore activity.An administration said that the Mr. Obama was urging the Interior Department to complete its previously-announced planning for new offshore oil and gas leasing. He was not ordering the opening of areas the administration has already ruled off-limits, including most areas off the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts, the official said.

    Jack Girard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, said that if Mr. Obama is serious about opening 75 percent of potential offshore resources, “that’s a positive significant development.” However, Mr. Girard said, if the administration is only prepared to offer leases on areas already under development, that is merely “a word game.”

    […]

    Tonight, Mr. Obama acknowledged that climate legislation is a dead letter for now and pleaded again with Congress to pass the clean energy measure.

    SOTU 2012 Full Text – WaPo

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