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President Obama gives Climate Change speech, punts on Keystone XL

June 25, 2013

footballToday I watched President Obama’s Climate Change speech (and live tweeted via @sodakliberty). Overall the speech is exactly what I expected: The President feels that anyone not on his side is part of the flat-earth society. One portion of the speech many were looking forward to was his remarks on Keystone XL. I don’t think anyone was happy with his non-answer. He said very little about the Keystone XL project.

Here is the meat of what Obama had to say on Keystone:

Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.


Both sides of the Keystone project have been wondering what the Obama administration will do. This non-answer from the President means both sides have act as if they will be blind-sided by the Obama administration in the future. Notice how the President actually failed to say how much carbon emission would be considered “good enough” for the Keystone XL project to go ahead. He left his statement on KXL vague enough to decide at any time if the project should or shouldn’t go ahead. This non-stance is likely going to cause a lot of backlash towards the White House from all sides of the issue.

Other than the Keystone XL non-stance there was very little of surprise in the speech. Here are some highlights (or low-lights if you will) I took away from this speech:

  • President Obama believes higher food prices are caused by climate change. I guess he forgot that federal regulations and subsidies are artificially inflating food prices on many goods.
  • President Obama wants to use less “dirty energy”. Every time he said “dirty energy” I pictured Beula Balbricker from the Porky’s movies saying “you filthy little pervert!”
  • President Obama has no clue that the EPA has lost almost as much credibility as he has.
  • President Obama acknowledges good steps taken by States and cities to enact sensible climate policy. However he still feels it must all be controlled by bureaucrats in DC.
  • President Obama says there is “a fundamental lack of faith in American business and ingenuity.” Maybe he should hold up a mirror when making such statements.
  • The President gave a hat-tip to Walmart? Are Democrats allowed to talk nicely about the evil Walmart?
  • President Obama proudly stated the US is drilling more oil now than it ever has.
  • While asking Congress to stop subsidising big oil companies Obama started to laugh.
  • President Obama stated the federal government will continue to consume less energy. I have a solution for that Mr Obama: Reduce the overall size of government and you will reduce the energy used by the government.
  • Towards the end of the speech Obama said he wants to “partner with the private sector” for solutions. Too bad his idea of “partnership” means regulations.
  • And finally, Obama wants to stop developing countries from dirty development. He apparently thinks it is the job of the US to act as a stern parent towards these countries?

Overall I don’t think anyone would have come out of this speech feeling happy (unless they are a blind follower of Obama). There was too much about the Presidents speech that left people on all sides of the climate change debate wondering where the executive branch actually falls. My guess is his climate change plan will be used to create random and haphazard regulations to further depress the economy. Perhaps this is the “change” he promised during his campaign to be elected.

PS. For anyone interested in the climate change action plan there is an info-graphic about it on the White House website. A PDF of the actual plan is also available here.

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