Obama: "Debatten er avgjort. Klimaendringer er et faktum" - Energi og Klima

Obama: «Debatten er avgjort. Klimaendringer er et faktum»

I State of the Union-talen lovet president Obama strengere regler for utslipp fra kullkraftverk og erklærte at USA er blitt verdensledende i solenergi. Men skifergass-satsingen skal fortsette.

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Barack Obama i kongressen (skjermbilde fra video)
Barack Obama i kongressen (skjermbilde fra video)

«Debatten er avgjort. Klimaendringer er et faktum», sa Barack Obama i kongressen natt til onsdag norsk tid.

En god bit av talen var satt av til klima- og energipolitikken (se alle sitater nederst i saken). Som ventet fulgte Obama opp løftene han ga i fjor om å instruere miljøverndirektoratet EPA til å fastsette strengere krav til utslipp fra fossile kraftverk:

«We have to act with more urgency because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought and coastal cities dealing with floods. That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air.»

Instruksjonsretten gjør det mulig for Obama å føre en strengere klimapolitikk uten å gå veien om lovvedtak i kongressen. En rapport som ble presentert sist uke kom med rundt 200 anbefalinger til Obama om konkrete klimatiltak han kan innføre på «egen hånd» (se en sammenfatning av rapporten).

Til sommeren skal EPA komme med sine utslippsregler for eksisterende kraftverk. Eierne av flere kraftverk har allerede varslet at de vil stenge dem fremfor å overholde nye utslippskrav. Nyhetsbyrået AP skriver at 68 kraftverk vil stenge eller er i faresonen.

Solenergiboom

Obama gikk inn for en «smartere skattepolitikk» der subsidier til fossil energi fases ut og fornybar energi støttes. Han viste til boomen i solenergi:

Vi støtter Energi og Klima:

«Now, it’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar too. Every four minutes another American home or business goes solar, every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.»

Obama framhevet også energieffektiviseringstiltak: Strengere utslippskrav til biler har gitt resultater. Presidenten varslet at nye krav til utslipp fra lastebiler vil bli lansert i løpet av noen måneder.

Ja til skifergass, ingenting om Keystone

Miljøverngrupper gir imidlertid ikke Obama toppkarakter, og her er noe av grunnen: Presidenten lovpriste utvinningen av skifergass og viste til at USA i dag er nærmere energiuavhengighet enn landet har vært på flere tiår.

«One of the reasons why is natural gas. If extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Businesses plan to invest almost a hundred billion dollars in new factories that use natural gas. I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built and put folks to work, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.»

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Se hele Obamas tale:

Obama framholder at USA har kuttet sine egne CO2-utslipp kraftig (som følge av at den billige gassen har erstattet noe av kullforbruket). Han gikk imidlertid ikke inn på problemene med lekkasje av den potente klimagassen metan i forbindelse med utvinningen av skifergass. Studier tyder på at disse metanutslippene kan mer enn oppveie den positive effekten av lavere CO2-utslipp.

Obama varslet at han vil bruke sin president-makt til å verne større uberørte naturområder (arealer eid av føderale myndigheter).

Som ventet nevnte ikke presidenten Keystone-rørledningen i talen – den store symbolsaken for amerikansk miljøbevegelse. En beslutning om bygging er ikke tatt.

Obama ordrett

Her er hele klima- og energidelen av Obamas tale.

«Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The «all the above» energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. (Applause.)

One of the reasons why is natural gas. If extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. (Applause.) Businesses plan to invest almost a hundred billion dollars in new factories that use natural gas. I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built and put folks to work, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas. (Applause.)

Meanwhile, my administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and jobs growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, our communities. And while we’re at it, I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations. (Applause.)

Now, it’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar too.

Every four minutes another American home or business goes solar, every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do. (Cheers, applause.)

And even as we’ve increased energy production, we’ve partnered with businesses, builders and local communities to reduce the energy we consume. When we rescued our automakers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars. In the coming months I’ll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.

And taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. Over the past eight years the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. (Applause.)

But we have to act with more urgency because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought and coastal cities dealing with floods. That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air.

The shift — (applause) — the shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require some tough choices along the way.

But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. (Applause.) And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did. (Cheers, applause.)»

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