Energy Secretary: Obama Not at ‘War’ With Coal

U.S. Undersecretary of Energy Ernest Moniz welcomes participants to a plenary session at the the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Energy Ministers Conference in San Diego, Thursday, May 11, 2000. Energy Ministers from 21 countries are taking part in the conference through Friday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
National Journal
Alex Brown
Add to Briefcase
Alex Brown
Aug. 26, 2013, 11:11 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama’s cli­mate-change plan isn’t a “war” on the coal or oil in­dus­tries, En­ergy Sec­ret­ary Ern­est Mon­iz said in a Monday policy ad­dress, but an in­cre­ment­al ap­proach to re­duce car­bon emis­sions while im­prov­ing the ex­ist­ing en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture.

Mon­iz, speak­ing at Columbia Uni­versity’s Cen­ter on Glob­al En­ergy Policy, touched spe­cific­ally on Re­pub­lic­an ac­cus­a­tions of an Obama “war on coal.” Those charges, Mon­iz said, “demon­strate mis­un­der­stand­ing or mis­state­ment.” Coal will con­tin­ue to be an en­ergy source, he said, not­ing the pro­posed $6 bil­lion in­vest­ment in car­bon-cap­ture and se­quest­ra­tion tech­no­lo­gies to re­duce its en­vir­on­ment­al im­pact.

The wide-ran­ging ad­dress also de­fen­ded the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion from oth­er fre­quent GOP at­tacks. The loan-guar­an­tee pro­gram, Mon­iz said, is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with the Solyn­dra scan­dal, but in fact, its “track re­cord is quite re­mark­able.” The pro­gram, part of the En­ergy De­part­ment’s ef­fort to spur private in­vest­ment in clean-en­ergy pro­jects, has more suc­cess stor­ies than fail­ures, he said. One ex­ample of that is Tesla Mo­tors, which Mon­iz said has re­paid its loan nine years ahead of sched­ule.

An­oth­er area of con­ten­tion — wheth­er cli­mate change is ac­tu­ally oc­cur­ring — is “not de­bat­able,” Mon­iz said. “The evid­ence is over­whelm­ing; the sci­ence is clear.” While fo­cus­ing on long-term re­duc­tions in car­bon emis­sions, he said the U.S. should also look at im­prov­ing its en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture to deal with in­creas­ingly fre­quent in­cid­ents of ex­treme weath­er. Earli­er in the day, Mon­iz and New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie an­nounced a part­ner­ship to de­vel­op an im­proved mi­cro-grid to help the state meet its trans­it needs dur­ing weath­er emer­gen­cies.

Mon­iz also an­nounced that his de­part­ment is on pace to roll out sev­er­al new ef­fi­ciency stand­ards for ap­pli­ances, in­clud­ing walk-in re­fri­ger­a­tion units, “small ef­fi­ciency pro­grams [that] can in fact yield huge res­ults.”

What We're Following See More »
STAFF IS PUSHING BACK
Trump Wants Scaramucci to Helm WH Communications
6 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump is expected to announce that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci will be White House communications director, according to two sources familiar with the planning. Trump has left the role open since Mike Dubke resigned in May, and the President has vented frequently to his friends about the performance of his press operation." According to NBC News, Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus are resisting the move.

Source:
NEW GALLUP POLL
Trump’s Approval Rating a Record Low at 6-Month Point
25 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"President Donald Trump's second-quarter job approval rating has fallen below what any other past president has gotten during the same time frame. A new Gallup poll found that Trump averaged a 38.8% rating between April 20 and July 19. The average approval rating for that time is 62%. President Obama was at the average during this time period, as was President Nixon. President Clinton is the only president who was below 50% by the second quarter, coming in with a 44% approval rating." There is also a large partisan gap. "Just 8% of Democrats approved of Trump's job performance during the second quarter, but 85% of Republicans did. Approval ratings have become increasingly polarized in recent administrations, but the 77-point gap for Trump is a new record."

Source:
ANNOUNCEMENT IMMINENT
Government to Bar Americans from Visiting N. Korea
26 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"The US government will soon prohibit American citizens from traveling to North Korea, according to two tour groups that cater to Western tourists who want to visit the secretive country. The US will announce the ban within a couple of days, said Simon Cockerell, general manager of Beijing-based Koryo Tours. The agency was informed of the development by officials of the Swedish government, which represents America's interests in North Korea, he told CNN."

Source:
NEA AND NEH GET $145 MIL EACH
House Appropriations Ignore Trump’s Proposed Arts Cuts
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Federal arts and humanities programs targeted for elimination by the Trump administration would get a lifeline from House appropriators willing to ignore the president’s proposal and keep them running. The $31.5 billion fiscal 2018 Interior-Environment spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday includes $145 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. While that’s still a 3.2 percent cut from the fiscal year 2017 enacted level, it is more than $116 million above Trump’s budget request. The National Endowment for the Humanities would receive $145 million in fiscal 2018, which is $103.7 million above the White House budget request."

Source:
469 WITHDRAWN, 391 BEING REEVALUATED
Trump Nixes Hundreds of Obama Regs
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The White House’s Office of Management and Budget detailed Thursday how it would jettison hundreds of existing or planned regulations as part of its larger push to ease federal restrictions on the private sector, upending federal policies on labor, the environment and public health. ... The Trump administration said it was pulling or suspending 860 pending regulations."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login