US needs to ‘accelerate transition away from dirty energy’

The US needs to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. That was the message from President Barack Obama in his last State of the Union Speech where he promised […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The US needs to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy.

That was the message from President Barack Obama in his last State of the Union Speech where he promised to change the way fossil fuels are managed.

He said: “Rather than subsidise the past, we should invest in the future – especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. That way we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system.”

He claimed seven years ago his administration made the biggest investment in clean energy “in the country’s history”.

The President added: “Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills and employs more Americans than coal – in jobs that pay better than average. We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy – something environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support.

“Meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60% and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad either.”

He also highlighted the effects of climate change in the country and in the world, adding that nobody can “dispute the science” around this issue.

He went on: “You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.

“Climate change is just one of many issues where our security is linked to the rest of the world. And that’s why the third big question we have to answer is how to keep America safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation-build everywhere there’s a problem.”