U.S. President Barak Obama has directed his administration to open more than 75% of potential U.S. offshore oil and gas resources, stressing the country needs an all-out strategy that "develops every available source of American energy."
During his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Obama noted, "We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years. And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy."
"Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. And I'm requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. Because America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk," he said.
"Our experience with shale gas, our experience with natural gas, shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away. Some technologies don't pan out, some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy."
The president stressed, "I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here."
Obama called for an end to federal subsidies to oil companies and, instead, asked Congress to "double down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean energy credits. Create these jobs."
"I'm directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public lands to power 3 million homes," said the president. "And I'm proud to announce that the Department of Defense, working with us, the world's largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history—with the navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year."
Obama also proposed helping manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings, potentially generating a $100 billion in energy cost savings over the next decade.
Building a new energy future for the United States should be part of a broader agenda to repair the country's infrastructure, Obama suggested. "So much of America needs to be rebuilt."
"In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction proposals," Obama said. "Take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home."
Dorothy Kosich, Mineweb