During President Obama’s State of the Union speech, he revealed his support for a wide range of energy policies, some of which were criticized for contradicting each other, the Financial Times reports.
Among such policies was one that called for tax breaks for natural gas-fueled medium and heavy trucks. According to many automotive executives, this proposal reflects the aspirations of many customers to use natural gas for commercial fleets, because of its low cost, reports the FT. Such a policy is close to a failed proposal that in the past garnered some Republican support.
The President also expressed interest in raising taxes on oil and gas companies, which Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said “could lead to less energy, less government revenue, and fewer jobs,” the FT reports.
Both the business community and environmentalists attacked the President’s commitment to fighting climate change. Mike Duncan, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, claimed that the President’s climate change initiative would result in “increased energy costs” that would “place an outsized burden on lower and fixed income families and make it more difficult for businesses to succeed,” reports the FT. The environmental group Greenpeace, picking apart another aspect of Obama’s speech, said “by encouraging the extraction of coal, oil, and gas from our public lands and waters” that the President’s administration is undermining its climate change plan.
Others condemned the President’s failure to mention the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta to Nebraska.
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