President Obama's State of the Union Address sparked praise from the oil industry and criticism from environmentalists. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)
During last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama praised our nation’s energy output, linking the recent oil boom to the creation of jobs and a nation that is less dependent on foreign oil than it has been in over a decade.
“After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future,” said President Obama, indirectly praising our nation’s recent oil boom. “We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years,” he said.
Though some of this new energy production comes from renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, thousands of the new jobs being created across the nation stem from the harvesting of natural-gas.
“We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it,” Obama said. While this may be true, environmentalists worry that the extraction of natural-gas through methods such as fracking will be harmful to the land that sits above and around the shale rock thousands of feet below.
In an effort to ease the worries of those like the Sierra Club who are hesitant about natural-gas, Obama stated that, “Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”
The trust will consist of a non-partisan coalition of CEO’s and retired generals and admirals. “Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long,” said President Obama.
In a statement released shortly after the president’s speech, the CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition – an industry group based in Pittsburgh, PA – Kathryn Z. Klaber issued a response to last night’s address. “As the President made clear, the responsible and effectively-regulated development of clean-burning American natural gas has lowered ‘nearly everyone’s energy bills’ all while safeguarding our environment and strengthening our economy,” she said.
Klaber also agreed that the thriving natural-gas industry will provide thousands of Americans new jobs, praising the president’s, “commitment to streamlining the permitting process aimed at further increasing domestic energy development.”