If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em. That apparently is the strategy of President Barack Obama on energy policy, as he adopted much of the GOP’s approach in his State of the Union address. He even appropriated its “all of the above” slogan, Politico
"This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper and full of new jobs," Obama said to rousing applause from Republicans in the House chamber.
Obama stressed expanding domestic energy supplies, both from traditional fuels like oil and natural gas and from cleaner sources like wind and the sun. He lauded the significant increase of domestic natural gas production that is coming through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
That will provide access to a 100-year supply of natural gas, the government says. Independent reports indicate the natural gas industry can provide 600,000 jobs over the next decade, Obama said. He promised to “take every possible action to safely develop this energy," saying all companies drilling on public lands will be required to reveal the chemicals they use.
Obama cited record levels of fossil fuel production and advocated opening 75 percent of potential offshore areas to exploration.
The president’s previous energy policy has received withering criticism from Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail. Obama declined to mention the Keystone XL oil pipeline or the failed solar energy company Solyndra, which have given Republicans plenty of ammunition to attack him. Instead, he adopted the Republican emphasis on increasing production.
But a sharper focus on fossil fuels could hurt the president among environmentalists who gave him strong support in the 2008 election. His call for more government assistance for renewable energy was likely meant to placate this constituency. Obama also advocated ending some tax benefits for oil companies.
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