Friday, March 15, 2013

Last Call

The White House is moving quickly on President Obama's initiative to increase research and development spending on alternative energy sources that he mentioned in his State of the Union speech.  First up: a $2 billion federal energy trust fund in direct R&D spending, paid for by oil & gas lease revenues:

Obama first called for an Energy Trust Fund in his State of the Union address last month. Under his plan, the $2 billion would come from royalties for federal oil and gas leases. The proposal asks Congress to include this in their 2014 budget.

This is today's second bit of good news for environmental advocates. The administration is also expected to announce that it is directing all agencies to take emissions into account when approving new projects, which includes highways, pipelines, and drilling plans. The guidance is expected to direct agencies to consider climate when they make assessments under the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act. The law was passed to look at more direct environmental risks, like the potential for oil spills or the destruction of habitat, but the White House Council on Environmental Quality is expected to tell the agencies to look at the potential impact on emissions now, too.

That's big news, especially given that the EPA has significant power to regulate emissions as a factor for public health risk.  This is definitely the right direction to head, as there's an environmental impact for all federal projects.

Republicans of course have their own energy plan, which is "drill baby drill" and screw any oversight.  now that the President has put a measure on the table, I'm sure the GOP will give it a fair shake (after pissing all over it).

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails