The president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday gave a boost to the administration’s all-of-the-above energy policy, much to the dismay of major players in the environmental movement. The head of at least one green group has plans to push back.
“Last night’s speech clearly showed that the administration has not yet reconciled the discrepancy between its energy and climate policy,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in an interview. “But Sierra Club along with many other environmental organizations will continue to emphasize this point.”
Brune went on to say that the Sierra Club will make the case that President Obama’s energy policy is undercutting his climate agenda by documenting how the carbon footprint has expanded dramatically with increased domestic oil and natural-gas production.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that the heads of a number of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the League of Conservation Voters, sent a letter to the White House saying that an all-of-the-above approach to energy policy stood at odds with the president’s commitment to act on climate change.
“The problem is that this all-of-the-above energy policy is, in practice, an all-of-the-below policy,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, an international campaign to end climate change. “It’s a policy that promotes digging up every form of hydrocarbon we can find on this planet. If one were serious about dealing with climate change, one would not have an all-of-the-above policy.”
McKibben hesitated even to give Obama credit for mentioning climate change during the speech. “Sure, the president talked about the importance of acting on climate, but the idea that anyone should get points for that at this point strikes me as pretty questionable,” he said.
Brune did sound a note of optimism in his response to the address. “There were parts of the speech that were quite good,” he said. “It was great to hear the president say he’s committed to fighting climate change, good to hear him talk about curbing coal pollution in power plants, and investing in modernizing our energy infrastructure.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that 350.org signed onto the letter to the president.
What We're Following See More »
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."
The government alleges the company put eight “software-based features” on diesel engines in nearly 104,000 Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 2014 to 2016 model years, which allowed the vehicles to emit fewer pollutants during EPA lab tests than during normal driving conditions.
Rep. Tom MacArthur resigned Tuesday from his position as co-chair of the Tuesday Group, the House caucus of more moderate GOP members. MacArthur was one of the key engineers in getting an Obamacare replacement plan passed through the House of Representatives, which has caused a rift within the Tuesday Group. "You can't lead people where they don't want to go," MacArthur told POLITICO New Jersey. "I think some people in the group just have a different view of what governing is."
The budget proposal would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 and as much as $16.6 billion in oil sales over the next decade. However, selling half of the reserve would risk taking it below the legally required minimum of 450 million barrels.