So, President Obama didn’t bring up global warming or climate change in his State of the Union speech. That wasn’t a big surprise, though some were still disappointed. He did give a nod to several environmental issues, including clean energy, electric vehicles, biofuels, cutting oil subsidies, and high-speed rail.
I noticed 5 new targets he set on the science and environment front:
- 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015
- “Eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”
- 80 percent of American electricity generated from “clean energy sources” by 2035 (What’s clean? He lists clean coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind, saying to meet his goal “We will need them all.”)
- Within 25 years, 80 percent of Americans should have access to high-speed rail “which could allow you to go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips it will be faster than flying – without the pat down.”
- A budget that matches the research and development the U.S. put into the Space Race: “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.” Among the R&D projects he noted: Turning sunlight and water into fuel for cars at the California Institute of Technology and using supercomputers to get more power out of nuclear facilities at the Oak Ridge National Lab.