On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address hoping to capitalise on his recent legislative successes and continue the bipartisan tone that has infused Washington in recent weeks. The speech was filled with broad concepts including investment to spur innovation and job creation, a five year discretionary budget freeze, a reorganisation of federal agencies and a marked focus on clean energy technologies.
President Obama focused on investing in clean energy technologies. President Obama stated, ‘we’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology and especially clean energy technology, an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet and create countless new jobs for our people.’ Though not citing natural gas or any technology by name, the fact that infrastructure investment is a priority provides an opportunity to push for NGV infrastructure, which accomplishes all three of President Obama’s goals.
Later in the speech, President Obama did not mention natural gas specifically, ‘so tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all, and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.’
The President’s call for enactment of a Clean Energy Standard (CES) presents a challenge for end users of natural gas. A CES promotes the use of natural gas for electricity generation in spite of its lower overall energy efficiency and higher levels of GHGs as compared to direct use. Most importantly, such a proposal may have an impact on the price of natural gas.
A CES and other energy proposals are highly likely to be debated in the coming months.
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