Obama Says He’ll Push for Energy Bill in 2011
President Obama, in an interview with Rolling Stone published on the web today, said he would push to pass energy legislation next year. While his commitment is significant, Obama stopped just short of saying he would push for significant climate change legislation that caps carbon emissions.
Obama said he wanted to pass a bill that “deals with” climate change and noted the importance of capping carbon, but he was careful not to specifically commit to passing a cap-and-trade bill, as he is fully aware of the significant opposition to the proposal in the Senate.
He said that one of his top priorities next year is to “have an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our overreliance on fossil fuels.” He continued, “We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation. But we’re going to stay on this because it is good for our economy, it’s good for our national security, and, ultimately, it’s good for our environment.”
Obama then goes on to tout efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten fuel economy standards, arguing that his administration can take action without Congress. Obama said, though, that it’s not enough, while adding that all of the administration’s current efforts will result in a 17 percent reduction in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“But we’re going to have to do a lot more than that,” Obama said, noting that Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the best way to solve the climate change problem “internationally” is to focus on energy efficiency, clean energy technology and a cap on carbon. “Am I satisfied with what we’ve gotten done? Absolutely not,” Obama said.
Asked by Rolling Stone if he would “throw the whole weight of the presidency” behind passing energy legislation, Obama said, “Yes. Not only can I foresee it, but I am committed to making sure that we get an energy policy that makes sense for the country and that helps us grow at the same time as it deals with climate change in a serious way.”