February 12 News: Green Groups Hope For Climate Push In State Of The Union

With the State of the Union speech coming tonight, environmental groups are hoping President Obama will call for a big push to tackle climate change by bringing the powers of the executive office to bear on the problem. [The Hill]

“We are hoping to see some more substance on exactly what the president’s plan will be like, be it on the clean-energy side or on the side of cleaning up the largest sources of pollution,” said Nathan Willcox, the global warming program director with Environment America.

“The problem is very pressing, and so the sooner we have policy proposals in front of us, the better.”

Obama has already signaled his willingness to use his executive powers forcefully, laying out a series of executive orders on gun control in addition to calling for legislation.

On climate, the White House took some steps with executive powers in the first term, and that’s expected to be the primary second-term focus.

Gasoline prices have climbed past $3.60 a gallon nationally for the first time since October, according to the government’s weekly price survey. Gas prices have steadily climbed since they hit a low of $3.254 for the week of December 17. They haven’t hit $3.60 a gallon since October 22. [USA Today]

Last year, the world  pumped more oil out of the ground than ever before in history, and nearly half of that increase came from new drilling in the United States. Yet Brent crude is still trading for around $120 per barrel, higher than it was two years ago. [WaPo]

Researchers using a computer model of the atmosphere found that activities from urban areas can warm the air as far as 1,000 miles away. In some areas, that increase was as much as 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). [NYTimes]

The weekend blizzard that hit the Northeast boasted precipitation that was more than 200 percent of normal for the region at this time of year, due to a rich tropical moisture feed that the storm tapped into. [Climate Central]

Climate change poses a disproportionate threat to African-Americans, due to where they live, their higher social vulnerability, and the job and energy disparities that effect them. [Ebony]

A railroad proposed for coal shipping by a coal giant and two of the world’s wealthiest men is threatening to bisect an Amish community in Montana. [USA Today]

Turkey will spend $5 billion on smart power grids by 2015 to boost network efficiency, providing chances for both North American companies to expand and for more international cooperation, the U.S. government said. [Bloomberg]

An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal lays out the medical case for tackling climate change; namely increased mortality due to heat waves, rising incidence of allergies, the spread of infectious diseases into new areas, and more. [Climate Central]

10 Responses to February 12 News: Green Groups Hope For Climate Push In State Of The Union

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Let’s hope that Obama insists on pricing carbon as well as encouraging clean energy. We also need some indication that federal policies of giving away coal from BLM land and approving dangerous offshore drilling (as in the Arctic) are stopped. Without these steps, little will change.

    We could switch to clean energy rapidly if we really wanted to. All that is preventing this change is the pathological greed of fossil fuel companies and the banks that support them. This video shows how:

  2. fj says:

    The President must understand that the scale of dealing with climate change must be like the space race, LBJ’s Great Society Program, and our WWII effort but many times amplified: the greatest test of human intelligence and perseverence never imagined possible.

  3. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    I’ll be playing the SOTU drinking game tonight. Each time BHO mentions the climate I’ll be taking a tug at a full-bodied, local, frosty microbrew. There will be plenty in the fridge to refill my mug as needed. Happiness will be getting so completely soused that I pass out in front of the TV.

  4. Sasparilla says:

    Sounds like a great plan – I hope you pass out. ;-)

    And I hope we’re all pleasantly surprised by what he says with regards to climate change tonight (and more importantly, what he does on it later)…

  5. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Come on now, let us not get our undershorts in a bind while waiting for some sort of climate change epiphany from Obama.

    Chill out, drink your favorite beverage and stream a internet movie.

    Interesting tidbit:

    Farmers Insurance pulling out of Louisiana.
    Coming to coastal residences everywhere!

  6. Joe says:

    Climate Depot sent me here.

  7. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    You’re OK Joe. Come on in and grab yurself a glass. The bathtub full of gin is down yonder hall, second door on the right.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    You’ll go blind, I tell ye!

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Petrol prices going up on the back of a mediocre recovery tells us that the financial grifters are back at their asset-bubble blowing tricks, and have trillions gifted by Reserve Banks in ‘Quantitive Easing’ and other scams, at their disposal. The fracking boondoggle isn’t having any magical impact as the day of high EROEI hydrocarbons recedes further into the past, which is another country, from whose bourne no traveler returns.

  10. David B. Benson says:

    Clearly he does not.