Obama’s Weekly Address: Controversial Topics Are Avoided
Last week at Georgetown, President Obama gave a speech about his plan to address global climate change. In this speech, he presented his plan to cut carbon emissions during his second term as President. However according to many environmentalists and politicians, his plan has major problems. “Unfortunately, it’s a full-throttle endorsement of every aspect of fracking and the global shale gas market,” reports DeSmogBlog’s Steve Horn. Read below to see the nature of these problems as cited by a number of environmentalists, journalists and politicians.
Four days later, this past Saturday, Obama gave his Weekly Public Address, and again Obama spoke about his Climate Change Plan. However, he does not address the numerous public critiques that have surfaced since his original speech at Georgetown. Instead, he focuses on convincing the public of the eminent climate disaster and requests our support in making change happen. See the video of this address below:
This speech does not address many of the key points of contention in his plan, one of which includes the promotion of fracking as a source of clean energy. We must keep the pressure on. We must remind Obama that we heard him the first time, and that we don’t believe that his policies on fracking can be a part of a plan to confront global climate change.
He has asked for the citizens of this country’s help in fighting the climate crisis. In this case, helping means requesting that he change his policies.
Please call Obama and urge a U-turn on his embrace of toxic shale gas! Contact Obama at the White House number: 202-456-1111.
Below is a collection of some of the detailed critiques of Obama’s plan to combat global climate change. Read on for some great talking points :
From Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog:
The “Fact Sheet” announcing the Plan  explains:
“We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged, and by taking an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so we leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations.”
In fact, children’s health and air quality nationwide are directly threatened by the promotion of further fracking and natural gas drilling activity. There is a clear disconnect between the president’s stated commitment to a healthy future for children, and the vast expansion of natural gas drilling and fracking, which are scientifically proven to be polluting the air and drinking water of Americans. – DeSmogBlog
Abe of Protecting Our Waters challenges Obama’s endorsement of fracking based on jobs:
We were appalled Tuesday night by President Obama’s comments on shale gas. Mr. Obama, who sounded more like an industry spokesman than ever, grossly overstated the safety, the abundance, and the number of jobs the industry can create. He is just plain wrong on all three counts. He was referring to industry-produced studies (like the tobacco studies of past decades) predicting 600,000 jobs as estimates from “experts”, but the real experts — the Bureau of Labor Statistics — predict less than one-fourth that number by 2018. And the president, like the industry, fails to estimate how many jobs will be lost — far too many farmers, for example, have already lost their livelihoods due to extreme pollution and animal deaths caused by shale gas drilling — as other economic sectors including agriculture and tourism are crowded out by high-impact, overwhelmingly polluting (and ugly) industrial development. – Abe, Protecting Our Waters
If Obama’s speech made one lasting impression, it was that the US “will reduce its greenhouse-gas pollution to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.” Really, that’s only a 5 percent drop from today. While the reduction in greenhouse-gases in the US will come through a very complex system of tax breaks, emissions caps, techno-fixes, and carbon trading schemes, a recent report published in Energy Policy admits that the US and other developed countries will require a 50 percent reduction in 1990 levels—this report places Obama’s target far from the mark. The national climate change policy has its head in the clouds, and obscures what is happening on the ground. – Sasha, Earth First! Newswire
This critique goes beyond the environmentalists. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont pushes for a stricter policy:
“…Let’s be clear: much more must be done. The president must support a tax on carbon and methane emissions to show the world that the United States is prepared to transform our energy system and be an international leader on climate change. The president must demand that Congress work with him to dramatically improve energy efficiency and to greatly increase our utilization of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy. Further, the president must not give speeches about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and allow construction of the Keystone pipeline from Canada’s tar sands oil fields which would result in a huge increase in carbon emissions.” – Senator Bernie Sanders
Please Call the President at 202-456-1111. Urge Mr. Obama to stop the shale gas fracking industry because it is poisoning our water, polluting our air, increasing global warming, and threatening the health and safety of so many Americans. Cite findings from the recent Bamberger/Oswald study about gas drilling’s human and animal health impacts.