In response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, following is a statement from Manish Bapna, Interim President, World Resources Institute:
“In his speech tonight, President Obama reiterated his vision for American’s energy future—a vision based on expanded energy production at home and less dependence on energy from abroad.
“The president declared that he is not going to ‘walk away’ from his commitment to clean energy. Despite the naysayers, President Obama doubled-down on clean energy, calling for a renewed commitment to energy that will create jobs and protect the environment.
“Expanding investment in clean energy can help America rebuild its manufacturing base, drive innovation, and create more jobs. The president also pointed out that government can play an important role in helping new technologies come to fruition, including through important incentives and policies to help the United States compete in the global clean energy race.
“As the president said, passing federal climate legislation may be too politically challenging today. But greater investment in clean energy can help drive down greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, leaders in Washington need to come back to the table to move forward with a comprehensive national response to climate change.
“President Obama also called for expanded development of natural gas. Natural gas is a potential game-changer for domestic energy production, but its full picture remains unclear. The president’s emphasis on additional incentives in clean energy– in wind, in solar, in batteries– are an important first step in ensuring renewable energy can compete with natural gas.
“Natural gas should be part of America’s low-carbon energy mix, but it must be pursued carefully to ensure that proper environmental and social safeguards are in place. We need to ensure that natural gas complements rather than displaces cleaner alternatives, such as wind and solar.
“It’s well past time for leaders in Washington and across the country not just to listen, but to act on America’s clean energy promise. America should embrace a national energy plan that provides the clarity and certainty our country– especially our businesses– need to move to a cleaner, lower-carbon future.”