Tyson Slocum, the director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, is featured today on the opinion page of AOL News. President Barack Obama is set to release his budget proposal next week, and when it comes to his energy allocations, we’re not expecting much. Tyson elaborates below:
If President Barack Obama’s budget proposal tracks the broad game plan for energy policy that he laid out in his State of the Union address, be prepared for a letdown when the numbers come out on Monday. For all of his “big ideas” — from Sputnik to job creation, high-speed rail to high-speed Internet — Obama offered underpowered solutions.
For starters, the president did not even mention the words “climate change” or “global warming.” This is stunning, given that he stressed climate change as critical during his presidential campaign.
Nor did he mention the BP oil spill. It was the biggest environmental disaster our country has ever seen, yet Congress has failed to pass any meaningful legislation in the wake of it. Apparently the 4.9 million barrels of oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico didn’t make a big enough splash to be mentioned in the president’s road map for the year.
What he did say about his energy policy was underwhelming.
Obama talked about the need for us to use more clean energy and said that he wants to double by 2035 the percentage of electricity that comes from clean energy. Yet his definition of clean energy includes sources that aren’t clean at all — from nuclear energy to coal, natural gas to biomass. We need to be straight about clean energy, which really means renewable energy.