“If we refuse to take into account the full cost of our fossil fuel addiction—if we don’t factor in the environmental costs and national security costs and true economic costs—we will have missed our best chance to seize a clean energy future,” he said. This from the energy expert who said ‘under my plan energy prices will necessarily skyrocket‘.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – President Barack Obama pressed Congress to scrap billions in oil company tax breaks and pass legislation to help the nation kick a dangerous “fossil fuel addiction” Wednesday, trying to channel disgust over the worsening oil disaster into a force for clean energy.
Seeking opportunity in a crisis, Obama argued for action in Congress as crews struggled into a seventh week to contain BP’s mangled oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. He urged lawmakers to shift the tax-break money toward clean-energy research and approve a major energy bill, now stalled in the Senate, that would slap a price on carbon emissions.
“Our continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security,” he declared. “It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk.”
Among the costs, Obama said in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University, is the risk that comes with drilling deep below offshore waters to find oil. He received sustained applause when he said, “We have to acknowledge that an America that runs solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision that we have for our children and grandchildren.”
Obama’s tough words about Big Oil came as he and oil giant BP face growing unhappiness from a public watching the disaster unfold day by day. What started with an oil rig explosion on April 20 has become the worst spill in U.S. history, with oil reaching shorelines and still gushing with no permanent fix in sight.
The president tried to tap into the discontent and use it as an urgent call for legislative action.
“If we refuse to take into account the full cost of our fossil fuel addiction—if we don’t factor in the environmental costs and national security costs and true economic costs—we will have missed our best chance to seize a clean energy future,” he said.
Obama faces serious difficulties in pushing for the bill he wants—a shrinking legislative window in a divisive election year, the distracting nature of the oil spill crisis itself and the contentious idea of putting a price on carbon pollution.
The House last year narrowly passed legislation creating a system, known as “cap and trade,” to limit global warming emissions and auction allowances to polluters. A bipartisan effort on a different version of climate and energy legislation in the Senate has been in the works for months but has no clear path ahead.
The president offered his most determined promise to date.
“The votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months,” Obama declared.
Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: