Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

President Obama's Ode to Fracking

Climate
President Obama's Ode to Fracking

In a speech today at Northwestern University in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, President Obama addressed the economy, touching on job creation, immigration, health care and raising the minimum wage. He also spoke briefly about energy, reiterating the "all of the above" policy he's previously expressed that has frustrated advocates of renewable energy and immediate action on climate change.

President Obama touted the natural gas industry in a speech at Northwestern University today. Photo credit: The White House

He boasted about reduced foreign oil imports, saying that America is now the world's leading oil and gas producer, despite their role in producing the greenhouse gas emissions that further climate change.

"For the first time in nearly two decades, we now produce more oil than we buy from other countries," he said. "We're doing it so fast that two years ago, I set a goal to cut our oil imports in half by 2020—and we will meet that goal this year."

He delivered what appeared to environmentalists to be an ode to fracking. He credited "our 100-year supply of natural gas" as a factor in renewed job creation, saying "Many are in manufacturing—the quintessential middle-class job."

In fact, the number of jobs created by fracking for natural gas is heavily disputed, with the glossiest job numbers inflated by jobs only tangentially related to the industry. In Ohio, where fracking is widespread, net job creation has been nearly nonexistent. And community activists have pointed out that natural gas drilling can cause job loss in other fields such as fishing, agriculture and tourism and that the workforce is often migratory, moving from state to state as old sites are tapped out and new sites are drilled.

“By applauding natural gas, the extraction of which leaks methane 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide, President Obama has once again reiterated his commitment to an unsustainable “all of the above” energy policy while paying lip service to renewable power," said Friends of the Earth climate and energy campaigner Kate DeAngelis in response to the speech. "If President Obama is truly interested in addressing the climate crisis, the only thing to do with natural gas is keep it in the ground.”

The president did give a brief shout-out to renewable energy.

"At the same time, we've helped put tens of thousands of people to work manufacturing wind turbines, and installing solar panels on homes and businesses," he said. "We've tripled the electricity we harness from the wind, and increased tenfold what we generate from the sun. We have brought enough clean energy online to power every home and business in Illinois and Wisconsin, 24/7. That's progress we can be proud of. And I know that here at Northwestern, your researchers are working to convert sunlight into liquid fuel. Which sounds impossible. Or at least really hard. But if you need to get the hard or the impossible done, America is a pretty good place to do it."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

America’s Fracking Boom Looks More Like a Blip According to European Study

Experts Call on Obama to Ban Fracking in Lead Up to People’s Climate March

President Obama Acknowledges Climate Change While Fully Supporting Fracking in SOTU

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less

Trending

New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less
Woodpecker

Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.

Read More Show Less