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Forever a supporter of renewable energy and protecting the environment, President Barack Obama has always had to watch his plans thwarted by Republican opposition, and in response he has always rolled over and given up rather than fight for his cause and risk his political popularity.
That was until now.
On Tuesday President Obama, in his State of the Union speech, showed some backbone for the first time in his presidency as gave Congress an ultimatum and declared that if they did not formulate a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change then he would go behind their backs and do it alone.
“If Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will. 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 the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
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Having had no luck pushing his climate bills through congress due to constant Republican opposition he as finally realised that maybe the only way to make any change will be to flex his executive power and ignore Capitol Hill.
But before he will make the decision to go it alone he is giving Congress as much chance as possible to switch to his point of view, stating: “I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.
I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”
About 30% of all US oil and gas production, and 40% of coal production, is managed by the Interior Department, allowing it to earn revenues of around $12 billion. Using part of this sum could turn the Energy Security Trust into a real force for the clean fuel research.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com