Was that the Obama speech climate campaigners have waited five years to hear?
Or was it just a great speech?
There’s no doubt when it comes to set piece occasions, few can compete with the US President.
The question is if, and how, it changes the game.
For the largely sympathetic audience watching the speech in the blistering heat of Georgetown, there appears to be little doubt these were sincere words.
Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense League, a Washington think tank close to Obama met the President ahead of his address.
“From what he told me and from what he told the nation, I am leaving campus more hopeful and energized about our chances to prevent climate catastrophe than I have been in a long while,” he said.
For more on this story, visit: Comment: Obama raised expectations, now he must meet them | RTCC Climate Change News.
… All the good that President Obama will do with his reductions in CO2 from power plants will be undone by his embrace of fracked gas. It is clear that he does not have the right information on fracked gas. His administration has allowed the gas industry to influence far too much of this process.
For more on this story, visit: Fracked Gas Isn’t a Bridge Fuel—It’s a Gangplank – EcoWatch: Cutting Edge Environmental News Service.
“President Obama announced his administration’s ‘Climate Action Plan’ for cutting carbon pollution in his second term in the Oval Office at Georgetown University and unfortunately, it’s a full-throttle endorsement of every aspect of fracking and the global shale gas market,” wrote Steve Horn, a research fellow for DeSmogBlog.
“Hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) is the toxic horizontal drilling process via which gas is obtained from shale rock basins around the world, and touting its expanded use flies in the face of any legitimate plan to tackle climate change or create a healthy future for children. … In fact, children’s health and air quality nationwide are directly threatened by the promotion of further fracking and natural gas drilling activity. There is a clear disconnect between the president’s stated commitment to a healthy future for children, and the vast expansion of natural gas drilling and fracking, which are scientifically proven to be polluting the air and drinking water of Americans. ‘Burning natural gas is about one-half as carbon-intensive as coal, which can make it a critical “bridge fuel” for many countries as the world transitions to even cleaner sources of energy,’ reads Obama’s plan.
“That premise is false. When measured in its entire life cycle — as Cornell University researchers found — fracked gas is actually dirtier than coal and therefore is a bridge to nowhere other than extreme climate disruption. That’s due to fugitive methane emissions, conveniently left out of the climate plan: methane is a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide.”
“Every time, they were wrong,” President Obama said today in rolling out his Climate Change Action Plan (PDF) to diminish the nation’s use of coal and other fossil fuels and invest in renewable sources of energy. He was, of course, referring to those who’ve opposed environmental regulations on the grounds that measures such as the Clean Air Act, or the 1988 agreement to curb acid rain, kill jobs and harm the economy.
For more on this story, visit: Obama’s Climate Plan to Ditch Coal Will Be Good for Business. Really – Businessweek.
Canada weighed in on Obama’s remarks, saying it did not think there would be a net increase in carbon emissions if the proposed pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to Texas is built, according to the country’s natural resources minister.
Bill McKibben, a leading activist against the project, said Obama had set an appropriate standard with his remarks and called that “encouraging news,” while environmentalist Tom Steyer hailed “the Keystone death knell.”
Some observers have worried that a strong push for new climate change measures would be used by the White House to offset an eventual approval of the controversial pipeline.
For more on this story, visit: Obama takes on power plants as part of new climate plan | Reuters.