Tag: Barack Obama

Kiran Stacey

Earlier, I promised you the reaction of the oil industry to the call by Barack Obama to end its subsidies.

Well, here is the API’s full reaction, courtesy of Jack Gerard, the organisation’s chief:

Kiran Stacey

Yesterday I blogged on what Carol Browner’s departure could mean for green policies under the Obama administration. Environmentalists were worried that this showed a shift by the White House away from tackling climate change and towards appeasing business.

They needn’t have worried. In the president’s State of the Union Address last night, he spent a considerable amount of time stressing his commitment to clean energy, and making some important and concrete pledges at the same time.

Calling this “our Sputnik moment”, Obama said:

We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

Kiran Stacey

Carol Browner has been a polarising figure within the Obama administration. Environmentalists were delighted at her appointment, given her background in the EPA, where she was described as, “the greatest administrator [the] EPA has ever had,” by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John Podesta.

But Republicans were angry not just at her appointment, but the position itself and the authority it carried. Fred Upton, the new chair of the House energy committee, has recently suggested he would investigate her powers.

Green campaigners will be worried about the signal Browner’s departure sends, especially when they see quotes like this from one Democratic aide who worked on the doomed cap-and-trade legislation. That person told Politico, which broke the story:

This does strike me as a quiet kill, so to speak. If there were a sacrificial lamb, it could have been on health care, financial issues, on a whole number of other things. But it’s the climate tsar that’s going down.

I don’t know the exact circumstances of it, but the circumstantial evidence, I think the timing is frankly fairly frightening.

Kiran Stacey

Here’s an interesting story from the States with potentially serious political implications.

The US interior department’s inspector general has carried out an investigation into why the government’s  moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, implemented in the wake of the BP oil spill, looked like it had been peer-reviewed, when it had not.

The investigation found the following sequence of events:

Sheila McNulty

Is oil sands (or tar sands, as environmentalists like to call the fuel from Canada’s tar-like bitumen) really not as bad for the environment as traditional crude oil?

At first brush, the latest report on the controversial subject, this time from the well-respected IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, might have left me with that impression. The headline reads, “Oil Sands Greehouse Gas Emissions are Lower than Commonly Perceived.”

But a backlash by environmentalists, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, made me take a closer look at what was being said. And even CERA is not saying that oil from oil sands is less carbon intensive than traditional crude.

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