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Obama blueprint for a US economy “built to last” includes “all-of-the-above” energy strategy; call for 80% of US electricity from clean sources by 2035

25 January 2012

President Obama used his last State-of-the-Union (SOTU) address of his term to outline four main elements of a blueprint for an “economy that’s built to last: an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.”.

Echoing the “all-in” energy strategy recommended by the 2011 year-end report from the President’s Jobs Council (earlier post), the President called for an “all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.” Subsequent to the SOTU address, the White House issued a “Blueprint for an America Built to Last” as an outline of the points the President made in his speech.

And nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I’m directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Right now—right now—American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years. That’s right—eight years. Not only that—last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years. But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough.

—President Obama

The “American Energy” segment comprised three primary elements:

  • Promote safe, responsible development of the near 100-year supply of natural gas while ensuring public health and safety. The President directed the Administration to ensure safe shale gas development that will include moving forward with new rules to require disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking operations on public lands.

  • Incentivize manufacturers to make energy upgrades, saving $100 billion over the next decade. The President announced a new proposal to increase the energy efficiency of the industrial sector by providing new incentives and breaking down regulatory barriers for manufacturers to upgrade equipment and eliminate wasted energy in their facilities, saving $100 billion from the nation’s energy bills.

  • Create clean energy jobs in the United States.: The President called on Congress to build on the positioning of America to be the world’s leading manufacturer in high-tech batteries and reiterated his call for action on clean energy tax credits and a national goal of moving toward clean sources of electricity by setting a standard for utility companies, so that by 2035, 80% of the nation’s electricity will come from clean sources, including renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower; nuclear power; efficient natural gas; and lower emission coal.

    ( According to the recently release Annual Energy Outlook 2012 by the US Energy Information Administration, in 2010 US electricity generation was 70% fossil fuels, 20% nuclear, and 10% renewable. The EIA’s Reference case for 2035 projects 66% fossil (coal and natural gas), 18% nuclear and 16% from renewables.)

    The President also announced that the Department of the Navy will make the largest renewable energy purchase in history: 1GW. In addition, the President is directing the Department of Interior to permit 10 gigawatts of renewables projects by the end of the year, enough to power three million homes.

January 25, 2012 in Natural Gas, Policy, Power Generation | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBack (0)

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“built to last” - vehicles made by Toyota, Honda...not GM.

“all-of-the-above” - Obama wants all people to be envious of all the success & all wealth of others, so it can be redistributed in european socialist fashion.

“all-in” - all your tax dollars in to Obama's cronies & unions, nothing out.

“American Energy” - the energy you expend trying to earn and create a better life, while Obama's policies systematically remove all incentives from existence.

For the natural gas part of the Obama plan, to succeed, the US needs to build LNG export terminals ASAP in both the Gulf and at the West Coast. Natural gas currently costs as little as 2.6 USD per BTU in the USA and it can sell for 16 USD per BTU in Asia and for 9 USD in Europe. It costs less than 1 USD per BTU to liquefy and transport natural gas anywhere on the planet so the business potential is obvious.

Currently the US is the world’s largest producer of natural gas producing about 11 million barrels per day in oil equivalents. However, for USA to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the gas industry the gas price and the profitability of the gas business must rise. Hence the need for the US to build LNG export terminals ASAP.

More than 70% of the respondents liked the speech in a CBS poll, 60% thought it was excellent. Some people are negative about anything from anyone that they do not like. I did not like Bush, but I was not negative about everything he said, I actually considered the content and did not just criticize.

If America could do 50% of what the President said last night, the current economic crisis would be over in less than 5 years. Unfortunately, the (R) party will stop it.

I realize that 2 hours is not enough to detail all what should be done but two other major problems will have to be addressed soon:

1. PFC's currently used in packaging, stain protection sprays etc are destroying the immunity we received from vaccinations in the last 100+ years. The long lasting negative effects on children and adults health could be very costly. PFC's should be banned.

2. Sugar and many additives found in new colored sweet energy drinks, over-used by children, are addictive and will make obese out of most of them in a relative short time. Those energy drinks could become some of the most destructive junk food produced by our free industries and should be banned.

The President was for many forms of energy when he was running in 2008. This is consistent with that view, that all forms of energy should be considered. We will need them all and we should have an open mind.

OK. Lets be open-mined and honest.

Most watching the State of the Union address were probably fans or relatively open to the President and his ideas. Most hardcore Republicans, I'm sure, didn't bother watching. Minimally, there were significantly more Democrats than Republicans watching. So, I think the CBS polls are completely irrelevant.

But in terms of the issues:

The President called for an end to oil subsidies, something he also called for when Democrats controlled Congress, but he couldn't accomplish.

So, what was the point?

In my opinion it was politics, which is why Henry consistently blames Republicans, even though the Democratic party has also fallen short of Henry's expectations.

Maybe this problem is bigger than party politics...if we're going to be open-minded.

Likewise, I think most economists would reject the idea that the US is going to dominate the advanced battery industry, especially if the UAW is in the mix. The numbers just don't add up. China can crush the US industry the same way it did with solar. Moreover, countries with large lithium supplies want more of the manufacturing done locally in exchange for access to lithium, and most of the large South American ones aren't very impressed with US companies.

We'll be the innovators and hopefully we'll do a chunk of the manufacturing, but our potential is limited.

Moreover, nothing Obama did brought more oil on online. If anything his administration has limited capabilities, yet he suggested that this uptick was the result of his term. Please.

You can't argue on one hand that it takes many years to bring new oil and gas resources on line, then take credit for it when you haven't been around long enough. More political BS.

Then there is KeyStone, a case where the President could have shown real leadership, but he didn't. instead, he again played politics.

Real leadership would have found a work-around, especially when it would put into real world action what his speech was about last night. There was plenty of time for the President to develop his own plan instead of looking for a way to blame Republican and wait until AFTER the election, so he wouldn't lose some of the environmental vote.

The President can talk a good game, he's proven that, and might be able to put into action if he could hand pick the members of Congress, but he can't. Thus, what the President hasn't proven is that he can achieve real change, and ultimately that real change is going to require working with Republicans. That is the reality of today's political world in America.

That doesn't mean you have to like Republicans, but it does mean that if they control a enough of Congress, as they probably will continue to do so after 2012, you have to work with them. Otherwise, it's just more political blame without any results, as it has been for decades.

I for one am tired of all the political gamesmanship (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120125/D9SFO48G0.html).

In my opinion, it's pretty sad the lack of productivity in today's government because of the amount of time spent politicking -- not to mention the money spent campaigning.

“built to last” - vehicles made by Toyota, Honda...not GM. - true

“all-of-the-above” - Obama wants all people to be envious of all the success & all wealth of others, so it can be redistributed in european socialist fashion. - false

“all-in” - all your tax dollars in to Obama's cronies & unions, nothing out. False - only some tax dollars, and 'Obama's cronies & unions' are spread throughout 'the 99%' vs W's/Republican's 1% "base" of "..the have mores.."

“American Energy” - the energy you expend trying to earn and create a better life, while Obama's policies systematically remove all incentives from existence.

False, the incentives to remove Bush oil wars and OPEC energy blackmail are limitless..

"Then there is KeyStone, a case where the President could have shown real leadership, but he didn't. instead, he again played politics."

Your kind says the President supports unions and unions wanted the pipeline, so what is your excuse now?

BTW, I was referring to an open mind about energy options. Congress has an approval rating of 8% versus President Obama's approval rating of 48%. After the Republican and Tea Party people wanted to default on the national debt payments, there has been a low opinion of our credit rating reduction.

@Chad
As I see it the KeyStone pipeline is currently off because it is not yet a project that can be said to be a >responsible development< of energy resources. Tar sands (or coal) can never be responsible. Instead, a little more time is needed to relaunch the KeyStone project as one that will transport tight oil from the US and Canadian bakken fields down to the Gulf refineries (there are at least 24 billion barrels of tight oil in bakken and KeyStone is the right project for moving that oil). That is a plan that can be branded responsible.

I agree that politics prevent too many good intentions from burning through. However, at least it is worse in most other countries, such as, Iraq if that can be of any comfort.

The Republican Governor of Nebraska wanted a change in route over the land in his state to protect the aquifer. If you want to blame someone for the delay, go talk with him.

HEY, i said many times to do green algae fuels with the co2 released by big chimneys in natural gas and coal electric power-stations and recirculate it at the input. Is it clear now ?? ahhh... these clearks at high political level, they make me sick. They are just petrol resellers, im guessing that this website is a petrol reselling website where they explain to the most educated that we should continue to purchase unnessary petrol at higher and higher price and that we cannot technically do nothing about it. This website is maintained by big oil and is there for brainwasching and big oil pr.

Ok guys, I'm a Canadian, if anyone should want America to give us money for the tarsands oil it's me but I gotta tell you Obama made the right decision on the Keystone project.

The pipeline was routed through an aquifer, what part of that don't you understand? Pipelines leak that's a fact. In fact one happened just yesterday;
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120124/bc_kinder_morgan_oil_spill_120124/20120124?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Kinder Morgan, Inc. calls spill at Abbotsford tank farm 'insignificant' - I call 110,000 litres of spilt light crude oil 110,000 litres too much.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/01/24/bc-abbotsford-oil-spill.html

And Keystone pipelines leak more than most.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/keystone-pipeline-infographic_n_941069.html
TransCanada says their Keystone pipelines are the safest on the continent.
But what about those 12 spills in the past year? Since its operation began in June of 2010, the Keystone 1 pipeline has suffered more spills than any other 1st year pipeline in U.S. history, a track record which does not bode well for the proposed Keystone XL which tracks across one of the largest aquifers in the world – the Ogallala – which supplies drinking water to millions of mid-Westerners and provides 30% of the nation’s groundwater used for irrigation.

Sorry. On reflection that "And Keystone pipelines leak more than most." line was over the top, and also not true.

Well said ai_vin. What else can we do to stop Americans from polluting their own fresh water sources? On the other hand, shouldn't we help them to do so and then sell them drinking water at $1+/liter. If Canada was to ship (South of the Border) a mere 300 million bottles/day, the revenues would be as high as $300M/day or about $109.5B/year. Not bad at all from a very friendly neighbour.

in fact given the growth of oil production in North Dakota in the next few years we don't really need that Keystone pipeline in the short medium term. Not building this pipeline will in fact favor more oil production in US so the GOP should be happy..

ai vin - good links

Treehugger the whole thing is a political shakedown to extract money from the enviros & oil companies anyway...in that sense, dragging Keystone out is win-win for Obama and the republicans.

Accusations with no supporting evidence is just speculation.

The Keystone project is just a reflection of our energy insecurity.

President Obama's "all of the above" energy strategy is too broad to pin down to any specifics. However, we can see one of the worst run example is Department of Energy's nuclear program, where they are ready to give out half a billion dollar just for a rehash of a smaller version of a Light Water Reactor. Meanwhile US is falling behind China in Molten Salt Reactor research. This is as business as usual as it can get.

You want to talk about "worst run" Departments?
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19083

If it happened before it could happen again under the next oil friendly President.

"Moreover, countries with large lithium supplies want more of the manufacturing done locally in exchange for access to lithium, and most of the large South American ones aren't very impressed with US companies." The countries may want manufacturing in their countries and think that because they have some lithium sources they can dictate some conditions, but that would make them stupid. Lithium is not rare and the US has lithium and doesn't need south american lithium. In fact, even though the batteries are called lithium batteries the cost of lithium in the batteries is very low. Of the materials cost in a lithium ion battery, the lithium makes up about 3% of materials cost. The cathodes and separator are the most expensive parts. So south americans and the lithium scare mongers can eat dirt. We don't need them. Besides, this is not like burning oil, the lithium can be recycled.


"We'll be the innovators and hopefully we'll do a chunk of the manufacturing, but our potential is limited." Are you a US citizen or from China? Battery manufacturing is a highly automated process so labor is not a big cost. I guess if people tell us enough times that we can't do something we'll begin to believe it.

It is the boards of directors in corporations that make these decisions. Apple makes the iPhone in China, they could make it here, but they don't. The only way people will get Apple to make iPhones here, is to stop buying them until they are.

Labor cost is often the prime mover.

We had 6 large appliances factories in our city as recent as 12 years ago. The last one (Mabe-GE) will move to Mexico at the end of the current year and the 1000 ($30+/hr) workers will collect employment.

Labor unions with their repeated strikes and unfair demands for more pay/fringe benefits and less work, are forcing factories to move where labor total cost is often 5 to 10 times less.

The labor cost disparity could be progressively reduced by switching the income tax burden from factory workers to higher revenue people. Make the first $50k/yr or $60k/yr income tax free and charge people making over $100k/yr a progressive income tax of up to $35% and 45% for all revenues over $250k/yr.

In phase two, you could impose a new progressive fossil fuel tax of about $0.05/gal per month. This extra fossil fuel tax would be refundable (with a ceiling) for low revenue people and factory workers. The extra revenues could be used to subsidize the cost of batteries for HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs up to $15K.

In phase three, you could apply a 1/4 to 1/2 of 1 percent tax on all financial transactions. Traders, Insurances and Banks would start paying taxes instead of collecting hand outs.

In phase four, you could impose a Fed sales tax of 5% on Goods and Services, excluding (non-prepared) food, prescribed drugs, school materials and children clothing. The rate could be 10% on all junk food, sweet drinks, beer, wine, liquor, smokes, prepared food, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and 20% on luxury items and large gas guzzlers.

The above changes are all very legal and could stop factories from moving abroad and create a few more million jobs.

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