Today Barack Obama addressed the nation’s energy policy, condemning the Bush administration for stubbornly refusing to prioritize environmental issues.
Bush announced in his last State of the Union that the U.S. has a serious problem with oil dependency, yet has made little attempt to remedy the problem, which Obama equated to “admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the 12-step program. It’s not enough to identify the challenge – we have to meet it. … I was among the hopeful. But then I saw the plan,” he said. “[Bush’s] funding for renewable fuels is at the same level it was the day he took office. He refuses to call for even a modest increase in fuel-efficiency standards for cars. And his latest budget funds less then half of the energy bill he himself signed into law – leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in under-funded energy proposals.”
Obama stated the importance of pressing environmental concerns.
Since 1980, we’ve experienced nineteen of the twenty hottest years on record – with 2005 being the hottest ever” he said. He also spoke to the predominance of natural disasters in relation to the importance of drastically cutting back our oil dependency:
For decades, we’ve been warned by legions of scientists and mountains of evidence that this was coming – that we couldn’t just keep burning fossil fuels and contribute to the changing atmosphere without consequence. And yet, for decades, far too many have ignored the warnings, either dismissing the science as a hoax or believing that it was the concern of enviros looking to save polar bears and rainforests.
But today, we’re seeing that climate change is about more than a few unseasonably mild winters or hot summers. It’s about the chain of natural catastrophes and devastating weather patterns that global warming is beginning to set off around the world – the frequency and intensity of which are breaking records thousands of years old.
Obama also called for Democrats stress reducing oil imports by more than 7.5 million barrels a day by 2025, a cutback two-thirds greater than Bush’s 4.5-million goal.