Jun 30, 2009

NYTimes - Interview With President Obama on Climate Bill

Regarding President Obama's recent press meeting about Climate Bill H.R.2454

Great words from White House transcript interview with President Obama, provided by the NY Times.

President Obama: ...I think that at the end of the day this bill represents an important first step. There are critics from the left as well as the right; some who say who doesn't go far enough, some who say it goes too far. I am convinced that after a long period of inaction, for us to have taken such a significant step means that we're going to be in a position to advance technologically, obtain huge gains in efficiency. I think what we're going to see is that if we're able to get this in place that it's going to be very similar to the Clean Air Act of '91 or how we approached acid rain, where all the nay-sayers are proven wrong because American ingenuity and technology moves a lot faster when incentives are in place.
President Obama: Well, here's my bottom line. I think you have to have meaningful targets so that by 2020, by 2050 we are actually seeing reductions in carbon emissions. I think we have to have a strong push toward energy efficiency. We know that's the low-hanging fruit, we can save as much as 30 percent of our current energy usage without changing our quality of life. So we've got to go in that direction. I think that there has to be a strong renewable energy component in it. And it has to be deficit-neutral, consumers have to be protected from huge spikes in electricity prices.

So I've got some broad criteria the House bill meets. There are going to be provisions in the House bill and in the Senate bill which I question, in terms of their effectiveness. I'm not going to have a line-item veto, so ultimately -- you know, I'll take a look at the final product. And if it meets those broad criteria -- moving the country forward on energy efficiency -- then it's a bill that I will embrace.

President Obama: Which I think is fascinating, because that tells me those guys are 16 years behind the times. I mean, here they are having an argument about the 1990s and we're in 2009 -- and they're making the same argument on health care. They're doing the same thing. They are fighting not even the last war, they're fighting three wars ago.

The American people have moved forward. They are way ahead. And for all the fear-mongering I think that, as I said, there's a recognition that the status quo is unsustainable.

We have now an additional 15 to 20 years under our belts where we've seen energy prices continue with their volatility, the environmental consequences moved more rapidly than anybody had anticipated, our economy has not been strengthened -- we've actually been -- we've actually fallen behind other countries on this front. The same is true on health care, what we've seen is huge increases in health care costs, less satisfaction, decreases in quality.

But long term, I look at America's history and that tells me that we don't shy away from the future.

Please read full transcript, of an interview with President Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Carol M. Browner, the White House coordinator of energy and climate policy, provided by the White House at NY Times.

Haase - Although I often blog about disagreements, it is VERY important to understand that I agreed more with the ideas of President Obama and Dr. Chu than disagreed. 
(it is just part of democracy, it gives balance and is vital)

In this transcript there is so many ideals I whole heartily agree with in energy independence, environmental protection and resurrecting Americas job markets.
I also agree that this is a 'first step' at achieving it... but not a step forward.  We have much better options outlined
throughout this blog, EPA and other organizations.

I do not believe this bill does enough to protect the environment, get us off foreign fuels fast enough or curbs our bleak future of coal and nuclear power... I hope the president, senate, congress and public will look through enough of the CEO fluff run by lobbyist and energy interest companies, to hear the strong view points of EPA and long standing environmental groups to understand we can not afford to make compromises at this time.

All of this clean coal and nuclear interest will be the fiscal energy demise, bankrupting of all viable programs that we can and should have within a decade... not 'neverland'.

We need a stronger bill that provides MORE renewable energy for geothermal, hydro, waste energy, manf. building efficiencies, community wind and liquid fuels from bio-waste.

These ALL work now, ALL invest in American innovation, ALL can support transport and home needs and return on investment before the first phase of this proposed bill would even make a dent.

Just listen... Listening to all the past reasoning, passion and intelligent ideas by Dr. Chu and President Obama regarding energy and the environment, it does not appear they are disagreeing with me on technology or feasibility, but are compromising with bureaucracy to achieve short gains in the same areas of past failures...

I understand that three decades of no progress makes anyone feel pressured to make 'change', even if it's baby steps.

I am only asking them not to compromise that 'change'.  The inarguable, irreconcilable and fiscally crippling issues with clean coal and current nuclear energy are enough to mark this a 'draft'.

With my help (please ask), I will ensure an uncompromised  'final bill'  that would be something no one could look back on as a mistake.

After decades of them, we need to reflect long and hard on this bill.