Saving planet Earth was a prominent feature of President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight, which focused heavily on the need for America to transition off fossil fuels. But amidst all the glossy platitudes about slashing carbon pollution and solving the climate crisis, there was this odd little statement: “Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either.”
Gas under two bucks a gallon. Got yourself some round-the-aisle applause there, Mr. President, but tell us, what exactly does gas under two bucks a gallon have to do with transforming America’s energy economy and preventing catastrophic climate change? Does Obama think ridiculously low prices at the pumps and convincing Americans to stop driving cars are somehow related? History would beg to differ.
Of course, it’s unlikely POTUS really thinks that Americans can enjoy dirt cheap gasoline while transitioning to a carbon-free economy, as evidenced by his very next statement: “Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”
That’s right. Oil prices don’t reflect the massive burden we’re placing on the planet by torching fossil fuels. He practically spells it out right there. So what’s up with that little wink at the fossil fuel industry? Guess you gotta play to your audience sometimes.