Electric power draws scant attention during Obama’s SOTU

President Obama made only passing references to electric power generation during his State of the Union address Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C.

Obama did laud the record-setting deployment of wind and solar energy. The president also got a standing ovation from Democrats when he affirmed his commitment to fight climate change.

Obama said that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. He cited recent reports saying that 2014 was the warmest year on record and pledged that the United States would be a leader in controlling greenhouse gases.

President Obama did not directly mention the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan although he did note his administration’s commitment to slash carbon dioxide emissions, and a first-ever agreement with China to slow CO2 output in that nation.

On other energy-related subjects, Obama did refer to the low cost of gasoline and freeing America from the grip of dependence on foreign oil. The president said the nation’s infrastructure needs should not hinge on the fate of one pipeline – an apparent reference to Keystone XL pipeline.

In the Republican Party response, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said she expects the GOP-controlled congress will soon approve Keystone and then President Obama will have to decide whether to veto it or not.

The Obama speech appeared to have virtually no mention of coal technology, nuclear energy or domestic natural gas, topics that he has mentioned in prior State of the Union addresses.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.