During last night’s State Of The Union President Obama addressed an issue he has long ignored during his presidency – climate change. Unfortunately his statement was contradictory and confusing.
We produce more natural gas than ever before, and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen. But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change…
Now, four years ago, other countries dominated the clean-energy market and the jobs that came with it. And we’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year. Let’s drive down costs even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.
Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. That’s got to be part of an all-of-the-above plan.
Speeding up oil and gas permits to combat climate change? Obviously oil is not a solution so let’s put that aside for a moment, natural gas is also not clean energy it is mildly cleaner than oil. And the extraction process for natural gas, like oil and coal, requires significant amounts of fossil fuel use.
This would have been a great speech in the 1980s but today, according to the experts, we are too far along for puny half measures. In fact one of the leading climatologists, James Hansen, posits that just allowing the continued oil production of the tar sands in Canada is game over for Climate Change.
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.
Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now…
We need to start reducing emissions significantly, not create new ways to increase them.
Canada is proceeding and combining that with President Obama’s new commitment to expedite oil and gas permits it seems the children are in trouble.