Energy Policy in State of the Union Upsets Some Environmentalists

In his State of the Union address, President Obama touted his "all of the above" energy policy which was bemoaned by some environmental groups who are upset with his embrace of natural gas as a "bridge fuel" to a clean energy future.

2 minute read

January 30, 2014, 8:00 AM PST

By Irvin Dawid

The president pointed to the increase in natural gas production as one reason for America being "closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades," writes Kate Sheppard, senior reporter and the environment and energy editor at the Huffington Post.

If extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change," he said..."Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth." 

"Environmental groups praised the president's climate goals, but were less enthusiastic about the oil and gas parts of his speech," writes Sheppard.

In a press release on the address, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, stated, "Make no mistake -- natural gas is a bridge to nowhere. If we are truly serious about fighting the climate crisis, we must look beyond an ‘all of the above’ energy policy and replace dirty fuels with clean energy.

No doubt his and other groups were displeased with the president's "call on Congress to establish 'sustainable shale gas growth zones' that was included in "a fact sheet accompanying the speech" by the White House, according to The Hill's Laura Barron-Lopez. Oil and gas extracted from shale use the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling.

"Fracking isn't a solution; it's a disaster for communities and the climate," said May Boeve, executive director of

However, not all green groups were so critical. "In a letter signed by five green groups and the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, the organizations applauded the president for reiterating his dedication to cut carbon emissions from power plants," writes Barron-Lopez.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Huff Post Green

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