President Obama continued channeling his inner Boone Pickens by touting oil and natural gas on his Western (campaign?) tour (above). Touting domestic resources, the Chief Executive called America the “Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas” in proposing tax breaks for helping liquid natural gas power trucks at a UPS depot. He also laid out a complete energy blueprint that included freeing up huge tracts of ocean territory for offshore drilling. Is the President’s conversion to fossil fuels really genuine?
Not forgetting about clean, green renewables, the President will be in Michigan today to tout wind energy at a turbine factory. The American Wind Energy Association announced that installations were up 31 percent in 2011, but the industry is bracing for the impacts of the loss of tax credits this year. The New York Times reports that enthusiasm for renewable energy subsidies in Washington is on the wane. The dilemma was emphasized as the parent company of a battery maker cited in President Obama's State of the Union Address declared bankruptcy one day after the speech.
Finally, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future issued its long-awaited report on what to do about spent fuel. The Commission dismissed talk about reviving Yucca Mountain -- no sense in baiting Senator Harry Reid -- but recommended yet another central storage site be chosen to take its place. This time, the commission says, the location should be wooed and rewarded, instead of having it imposed as occurred in Nevada. Are there any volunteers? Well, Carlsbad, New Mexico, site of the successful Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (WIPP), says it will be happy to take more. But somebody is probably going to object someplace.