Obama's SOTU: Leave Coal and Nukes Behind!

Some welcome potential advances to the U.S. green economy loomed large in President Obama’s State of the Union message on Tuesday night.  Connecting 80% of Americans to high-speed rail within 25 years.  Ensuring that the U.S. is the firstcountry to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  Making solar power ascheap as fossil fuel-generated electricity by the end of the decade.  Getting 80% of our electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.  The biggest surprise of all was the President’s call to for an end to billions of dollars in subsidies to oil, gas and other fossil fuel companies to allow the U.S. to commit $8 billion to the research necessary to deploy the energies of the future.  The only sour notes in President Obama’s vision of a green American economy were his calls for more clean coal and nuclear energy.  Given recent reports in Canada about leaking carbon sequestration projects, the risk of wide deployment of so-called "clean coal" plants that capture and store the carbon they emit is clear.  Therefore, we believe more than ever that the U.S. should focus its clean energy future on energy efficiency measures, conservation and large-scale renewables.  Scientists and economists in both the US and Europe have forcefully stated publicly that it is possible to achieve our energy needs with these measures alone. Achieving it requires only the necessary political will to leave coal and nuclear power behind.