Text of Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

Note the section on climate and energy in bold, looks like nothing more than lip service to climate to me.

On the issue of energy, he seems to be proposing some sort of revenue diversion from oil and gas. It is unclear if this means a new tax or a carbobn tax since the language is vague. – Anthony

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:

Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”

Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.

Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.

But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.

It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation.

The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.

Our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget – decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery.

Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

Now we need to finish the job. And the question is, how?

In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as “the sequester,” are a really bad idea.

Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits.

That idea is even worse. Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.

But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. Most Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. And that’s the approach I offer tonight.

On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.

To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?

Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America. That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together.

I realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won’t be easy. The politics will be hard for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.

Now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let’s be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?

A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.

Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.

After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.

There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns. So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.

If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s; developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs; devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.

After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.

But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.

In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.

Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.

America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. The CEO of Siemens America – a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings.

Tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America. And let’s start right away.

Part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.

But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That’s holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. What are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.

These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. And that has to start at the earliest possible age.

Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.

Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.

Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.

We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.

Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.

Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do. Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my Administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.

To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead.

Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.

Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.

And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.

In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.

But we can’t stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.

We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.

Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.

Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.

Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my Administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. We’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.

Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity – broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class – that has always been the source of our progress at home. It is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world.

Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda. Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.

Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.

Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.

As we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. That is why my Administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts. I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way. So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.

Of course, our challenges don’t end with al Qaeda. America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. The regime in North Korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.

Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. At the same time, we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands – because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.

America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.

Even as we protect our people, we should remember that today’s world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.

We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.

Above all, America must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. I saw the power of hope last year in Rangoon – when Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed an American President into the home where she had been imprisoned for years; when thousands of Burmese lined the streets, waving American flags, including a man who said, “There is justice and law in the United States. I want our country to be like that.”

In defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. The process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month.

All this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight. We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat. We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. And I want to thank my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us.

But defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That’s why, tonight, I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And I’m asking two long-time experts in the field, who’ve recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it. And so does our democracy.

Of course, what I’ve said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.

It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.

Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.

We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.

We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.

We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”

We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy. When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds.

When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s just the way we’re made.”

That’s just the way we’re made.

We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title:

We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

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88 thoughts on “Text of Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

  1. Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.

    Translation: Make our oil and gas even more expensive so we will have even higher domestic energy costs, from assets WE own.

  2. …”prepare our communities for the consequences” is a whole lot better than “tax everyone to death”!!

  3. “And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.”

    Gee I wonder why /sarc did I have to do the /sarc?

  4. “And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet”

    Sounds like a very dangerous person to me!!!

  5. “. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. ” Can anyone advise where this claim comes from?? The 30 year satellite record? How many pinnochio’s will this one get??

  6. And I was worried. He’s made the decision to do nothing of substance no doubt because he understands that it would be impossible to do so. Lucky us.

  7. The oil and gas revenue in the address may not refer to taxes at all. He seems to be referring specifically to revenues tied to extraction from public lands. The oil and gas companies have to pay the government royalties for the oil and gas extracted from public lands in the same way that they have to pay royalties to private land owners for extraction from those privately owned lands. It may well be this revenue that the President is referring to.

  8. “Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.”

    Does nobody check facts anymore???? It is so easy to find the facts that is the exact opposite of what he’s saying! I will not say disparaging things about the president–but he doesn’t have the facts. How do people in high places graduate college these days? Without facts–without knowing how to find them?

    And then saying–if congress won’t act, I will! Oh lets just by pass our checks and balances–throw out the constitution. I’m sad.

  9. “Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America.”

    So, only one conventional power plant was built?

  10. Theo Goodwin says:

    February 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    “Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America.”

    So, only one conventional power plant was built?
    —————————————————————————————————————-

    The other half was from ‘Green’ businesses going bust

  11. I agree that the facts regarding the warmest years on record are questionable. Is he referring to the USA only? Can anyone point me to an online resource where we can look this up ourselves? When trying to google this, all I’m hitting are all the mainstream media sites that picked up on this “fact”.

  12. Day by Day … they have their version of the “facts” that is all that matters. There is a new Fed Advisory agency that just put out a draft report on the “facts” about global warming … watch for a story on it …. its going to take a huge concerted effort to respond to the misinformation campaign they are undertaking.

  13. “I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.”

    North of Florida, underground homes would be the best way to meet this goal. I wonder if that is what he has in mind?

  14. Threats of Executive Orders? Start writing to your Congressman folks, otherwise your once great nation will fall of the fiscal cliff.

    However, the amount of material to make him look a total asshat is astonishing. Scripts written by MTV kids without a clue, completely void of reality and fact. If you intend on a career in politics make sure you supply your boss with factual information that can easily be exposed and broadcast. The rest of the week should be entertaining.

    “But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15″. That is what is written, but i’m pretty sure he said 12 hottest years in the planet’s history. Could be wrong, it’s late here.

  15. “Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.”

    Day By Day says: “Does nobody check facts anymore???? It is so easy to find the facts that is the exact opposite of what he’s saying!”

    okay, fact boy, what are _your_ 12 hottest years on record?

  16. I was the designated driver. I chose to drink when the word “liberty” was used. Make of that what you will.

  17. I woke up to hear Pres Obama’s speech underway. I had a horrible flashback and for a while I thought I was listening to Tony Blair. He, and his sociopathic and innumerate successor, G Brown, have caused untold damage to the UK with incontinent government taxation and spending, all too often dressed up in the specious ‘green’ garb.

    Good luck with OBlair.

  18. Terence Corcoran: The price of Keystone may be a carbon tax

    Tax could provide cover for approval of oil sands pipeline

    Hello Canada! Are you ready — ready for a new national tax on carbon that will ding pocketbooks across the country? My bet is that a new carbon tax is coming, made almost inevitable by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s full-bore push to secure Washington’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

    For early clues on the carbon tax/Keystone trade-off, tune in Tuesday night to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. As the president speaks, he will be alert to the chorus of Hollywood stars, environmental activists, editorial writers and industry leaders who are pushing for him to make the biggest climate-change decision he can possibly make: Impose a carbon tax.

    It is time Canadians became aware of the giant trap being set in Washington over Keystone. The short version is this: The president approves Keystone, greatly expanding the flow of Canadian oil sands production into the United States. In return, however, Canada has no choice but to accept a carbon tax at home as part of a grand bargain.

    I first mentioned the likely Obama pipelines-for-taxes strategy in comments at the annual Financial Post forecast luncheon at the New Year. “I see new taxes coming in the United States, including an energy or carbon tax, to try to cover the deficits. The new energy tax would serve as partial cover for President Obama’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.”

    That Mr. Obama might offer some kind of carbon tax as a carrot to environmentalists and climate activists opposed to Keystone has since emerged as more than plausible. Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel recently outlined how the president might demand a carbon tax in return for approval of energy projects, including Keystone. Getting a carbon tax through Congress looks tricky. But Ms. Strassel reported that California Senator Barbara Boxer outlined how a carbon tax could be imposed administratively through the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The Keystone-carbon tax trade off was also suggested in a recent editorial in Nature, the science journal. The editorial was big news in Canada, thanks to its endorsement of Keystone and Canada’s oil sands. “Regarding the Keystone pipeline,” said Nature, “the administration should face down critics of the project, ensure environmental standards are met and then approve it.” The science writers at Nature also benevolently said Canada’s oil sands are “not as dirty as many believe.”

    Wow. Prestige science mag says tar sands OK! What Nature was really proposing, however, was that Mr. Obama use Keystone as cover for a range of other policies. “By approving Keystone, Obama can bolster his credibility within industry and among conservatives.” While conservatives are lulled, Nature proposed new regulations, crackdown on the coal industry, and a carbon tax.

    The Washington Post is on the same two-track policy theme. Last month the Post urged the president to “ignore the activists who have bizarrely chosen to make Keystone XL a line-in-the-sand issue.” Last week, in a climate-change editorial, the Post presented the other half of the bargain with a ringing endorsement of a carbon tax. Putting a “slowly rising, significant price on carbon emissions” would encourage people to burn less fossil fuel. As an added fiscal bonus, since Washington needs new revenues to meet its fiscal crisis, “a carbon tax would be an ideal source” of revenue.

    So the stage is set for Mr. Obama to magically saw the climate-change issue down the middle and come out a winner: approve Keystone to placate one side and impose a carbon tax and other regulations to keep the other side happy. . .

    http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/fp-comment/blog.html?b=opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/11/terence-corcoran-the-price-of-keystone-may-be-a-carbon-tax

    Any excuse for more taxes.

    /Mr Lynn

  19. Told you he wouldn’t do anything drastic. What are the unspoken words to “energy security trust”? They are local energy, like the oil sands of Canada – he is preparing to approve that based on keeping us from using Middle East oil. Keystone pipeline here we come! Local energy likely would have included nukes before Fukushima, and still might…

  20. “As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.”

    And if all of your friends decided to jump off a bridge, would you?

    Tax, tax, tax (and not just carbon). Spend, spend spend (and not just green on green). On the plus side a carbon tax bill is just the right recipe to create a Democratic civil war.

  21. It sounds like will push for something similar to Jimmy Carter’s useless windfall profit tax. In the words of judge Smails: ” the man’s a menace”.

  22. “Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”
    “Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”

    Sorry, but I find those two sentences to be mutually exclusive.

  23. “I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”

    I would be looking closely at McCain and Lieberman’s work. Cap and trade?

    http://www.c2es.org/policy_center/analyses/s_139_summary.cfm

    In my opinion, that is what is in the wind especially if freakish weather in the USA continues which will serve to highlight the cause. Lots and lots of new opportunities for research too but not for WUWT I fear.

  24. Wow;

    “new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” It’s a neat technology (been around for ~25 years now), and it’s good for one-offs, trinkets, prototypes, etc, but it will not revolutionize “the way we make almost everything”. Just image “printing” car fenders at several hours each as opposed to stamping one out of aluminum every 30 seconds or so…..

    “devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful.” Sure as soon as you find something that is 1/10 as dense as Lithium (Super Extra Lightweight Lithium perhaps ?)….

    “research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner” That would be alchemy………

    “shift our cars and trucks off oil for good……retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea” Yeah cars designed by generals and admirals, what could possibly go wrong………

    “self-healing power grids.” Had a branch come down during a windstorm last week and take out the high voltage wires, I waited for the grid to self-heal, but eventually the linemen (line person ?) came and fixed it…… Of course with a smart meter they would know the line was down and I wouldn’t have to call it in………..

    “modern pipelines to withstand a storm;” Remember that big snow storm that took out the Alaska Pipeline, nope me neither……

    “and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math” How the heck did I ever get engineering degrees, patents, deliver working products, etc. before we created these classes…… I guess they must have discarded the calculus classes since I graduated, who knew…. Many folks don’t want to focus on “STEM” because it’s HARD…………..

    What a beautiful future azure blue sky they see through those rose tinted glasses……….

    Just a little bit more spending and utopia is surely just around the next corner…………

    Cheers, Kevin

  25. So, China building several dozens or perhaps hundreds of new coal-fired power plants is translated into going “all-in on clean energy”?

  26. A. Scott says:
    February 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Obama is delaying the Keystone Pipeline as payback to his foreign and illegal political campaign donor and backer, whose Berkshire Hathaway owns the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe railroad that’s hauling the petroleum the Keystone Pipeline would haul less expensively.

  27. Zeke-

    Just use the WUWT temp page and it shows Obama is right about 12 of the last 15 years being hottest, that said that is an extremely weak claim and shows Obama knows we are turning the corner to cooling. The fact he used this weak statement instead of something like “we are heading to a 5 degree C increase in the next 50 years” means he is getting it.

  28. His speech was so full of lies, it’s impossible to know where to begin. Among others, he lied about the increasing tempo and intensity of storms; he lied about China going all-in on clean energy… Interestingly, focus groups found the climate change portion of his speech to be the lowest rated part of his speech, from independents to Republicans. Expect the proposed climate change legislation to be DOA.

  29. Justsomeguy wrote;

    “Ya Kevin, and we will never be energy independent”

    Well, we are in fact headed that way, but not because of any actions by the federal government. NO research into fracking was sponsored by the US Government, and most of the new production is on private land (yes we still have some of that here).

    NONE of the money WASTED by the US Department of Energy over that last four decades has produced anything more than a TRICKLE of energy.

    Solar cell efficiency is limited by the fundamental physical properties of the semiconductors

    Battery energy density is limited by the materials available to make batteries from (Li batteries have been around since the 1980’s WHERE ARE THE BREAKTHROUGHS????)

    Windpower is a bad joke

    There must be a liberal version of the periodic table of elements, it must be the one with elements like Unobtainium (Uo), Administratium (Ad), Pixie Dust (Px), Unicorn Flatuance (Uf) and Pipedreamium (Pi).

    As for spending, we are approaching an economic train wreck, you hear birds chirping cheerfully, but that sound is the locomotive coming towards us in the tunnel.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  30. Kevin-
    Really? My company has managed to change the lithium ion energy density equation with a new separator, developed in the US and sold from a plant built in the US: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-03/dupont-building-plant-to-expand-in-materials-for-lithium-ion-car-batteries.html

    On solar: http://www2.dupont.com/Photovoltaics/en_US/knowledge_center/index.html

    We also have lots of stuff that is not public yet. If we could get China to defend IP we could do even more. With US engineers and scientists.

    I guess I wouldnt bet against US ingenuity, but then again I am an American.

  31. gofer says:
    February 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    “So, China building several dozens or perhaps hundreds of new coal-fired power plants is translated into going “all-in on clean energy”?”

    The most bizarre statement of the speech. The Fact Checkers who do not plaster him on this one are crooks.

  32. “Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America.”

    That’s faceplate capacity, which for wind is four times its in-use capacity–unlike conventional power plants, whose faceplate capacity reflects reality. Obama is making an apples-to-oranges comparison.

  33. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.

    This is true. The following are the Hadcrut3 stats so it happened to be for the last 16, but just on this data set. Here are the top 26 if you are interested.

    For HadCrut3, Graph since March, 1997 is flat.

    1 {1998, 0.548},
    2 {2005, 0.482},
    3 {2010, 0.478},
    4 {2003, 0.475},
    5 {2002, 0.465},
    6 {2004, 0.447},
    7 {2009, 0.443},
    8 {2006, 0.425},
    9 {2001, 0.408},
    10 2012 0.403
    11 {2007, 0.402},
    12 {1997, 0.352},
    13 {2011, 0.340},
    14 {2008, 0.325},
    15 {1999, 0.297},
    16 {1995, 0.275},
    17 {2000, 0.271},
    18 {1990, 0.255},
    19 {1991, 0.213},
    20 {1988, 0.180},
    21 {1987, 0.179},
    22 {1983, 0.177},
    23 {1994, 0.172},
    24 {1996, 0.137},
    25 {1944, 0.121},
    26 {1981, 0.120},
    But the more important point is that the slope is flat since March, 1997 to December 2012, or 15 years and 10 months. The SkS site verified this since it has the low December anomaly of 0.233 that WFT does not yet have, which is why it is not quite flat. See:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.1/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.1/trend

  34. King of Cool says:
    February 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    “In my opinion, that is what is in the wind especially if freakish weather in the USA continues which will serve to highlight the cause. Lots and lots of new opportunities for research too but not for WUWT I fear.”

    You need to remove the filter that the media uses. There is no freakish weather in the US and there has been none since the devastating winters of the Seventies. Sandy was the sort of storm that Floridians take in stride. The fact that New Jersey and Manhattan went bananas over it is more a comment on them than on the storm.

  35. Justsomeguy;

    Dupont, isn’t that the company that made such obscene profits selling explosives to the US government during the carnage of the First World War that they where shamed into delivering explosives for the carnage of the Second World war at cost plus a 1 cent profit per dollar ?

    Just to be clear, if “your” company (if you are a shareholder as well as an employee, otherwise it’s just your employer) wants to change the basic dynamics of energy density in batteries with your shareholders dollars, I say KNOCK YOURSELVES OUT. Just keep your cotton picking hands off my (US Taxpayer’s) wallet. If you want my taxpayer dollars to fund this “breakthrough” I respectfully request shares (at current market value) in your company in exchange. That way we share the risk and the reward. I’m not enamored with just sharing the risk part of the equation.

    I’ve heard all the promises of “breakthroughs” in battery technology and PV solar cell technologies for decades now, I ask again; WHERE ARE THE BREAKTHROUGHS ??????????

    Did you notice that the “high energy density” batteries in that new fangled aeroplane made by Boeing tend to toast themselves on occasion (usually when you’re 40,000 feet up in the air going 500 mph, a particularly inopportune time for a fire by the way).

    Kevin

  36. “I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.”

    Lets ground Air Force one and end the biggest waste of energy in the country

  37. “DuPont is building a factory to make separators for lithium-ion batteries in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The plant will be able to supply 20 percent of current demand for hybrid and electric vehicles when it opens early next year, the Wilmington, Delaware-based company said today in a statement.”

    That may be possible since every manufacturer is dramatically cutting back on the production of electric cars, or said another way they are quietly giving up on electric cars for now.

  38. “DuPont is building a factory to make separators for lithium-ion batteries in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The plant will be able to supply 20 percent of current demand for hybrid and electric vehicles when it opens early next year, the Wilmington, Delaware-based company said today in a statement.”

    This is from an article published on 8/03/2010, so where is the news about the breakthrough performance? From what I understand, the main benefit was being lighter and Dupont made no official claims about increased mileage, etc.

  39. Get this… He sure is bold with his executive order and executive action business what with the opposition in the political wilderness and absolutely no third party concerns.
    Sure looking like Rubio is having difficulty with the heat of response. That’s nothing compared to campaign announcement and management.

    What’s Romney doing these days? Quadrupling the size of his California beach house. Has a long way to go to catch Al Gore’s man$ion. Maybe he can start a scam and rake in the dough. Global Mormon-ing?

    Ohhh, nowadays one has to be very careful with political jokes, because many political jokes get elected. Nevermind!

  40. “12 of the last 15″? Ok, maybe, maybe even probably. So what?

    We have just crested the top of a rather obvious 60 year climate cycle and are now, likely, on the downward side. This may, or may not, be the peak of the “Modern Warm Period.” but I hope not. We’ll need to hang around another sixty years to know for sure.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch… I just reached the summit of Mt. Whitney (chosen because I’ve been there) and the last eight steps were all uphill, but for a couple of slight depressions. Now I’m going back to the trailhead, eight more steps- oops! a slight rise needed to continue. So 12 of the last 16 steps I’ve taken were near the highest altitude I’ve ever reached on foot. Isn’t that what a reasonable person would expect to be the case? Well, yeah, that sounds right. Do warmunists ever think about such things? No, no evidence of any logical thought whatever.

    I’m also quite certain that the Pilgrims of 1690 would have said that 12 of the last 15 years were the coldest ever (since records have been kept), and would have been correct. BFD

    Spent yesterday afternoon watching the snow silently falling at 3400 feet near Tucson, AZ, sitting in front of a mesquite-burning fireplace and wondering about “extreme” weather events. 2″ of snow on the ground this morning is unusual, but “extreme”?

    Sorry about the mesquite logs, but the local Walmart doesn’t (so far) sell any warmunist logs. When they do, I’ll buy ‘em. Cheers, L

  41. “We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. ”

    Why is this something to be proud of? Does it mean that we don’t produce as much as we did 16 or 20 years ago?

    “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas,”

    This statement puzzles me because I’m old enough to remember car advertising from the 1970s/80s, and unless my memory is WAY off, they were advertising all sorts of little cars that were getting 40 or 50 mpg back in those days. It’s possible I’m just mis-remembering, but does anyone know the figures on this?

    “[and we've doubled] the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar”

    Since when? Last year? Ten years ago? Fifty years ago? Without a reference the statement is meaningless. Did I miss the reference?

    “We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.”

    Is this because of “fracking”? If so, shouldn’t he have said “Due our increasing use of fracking we produce… etc” ?

    “And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.”

    Anyone want to comment on that last point? Would that possibly also be because of fracking?

    – MJM

  42. Zeke Hausfather says:
    February 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm
    justsomeguy31167,
    To be fair, you’d have to be rather daft to claim that there is any chance of 5 C warming in the next 50 years.

    Zeke,
    I’m glad to hear that you would classify Joe Romm as daft. Romm claims: “come the 2030s when the world is desperate, desperate to avoid 7, 8, 9 degrees Fahrenheit warming”. That’s 4-5 C warming only 18-28 years from now. Skip to 8:19 in the following video:

  43. Mr Lynn says:
    February 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    From the end of the Financial Post article you partially quoted:

    Alberta’s new representative in Washington, David Manning, said last week Premier Alison Redford is ready to deal with Washington over Keystone. “We have much more in our toolbox” to offer Washington in return for a green light on Keystone, he said, without elaborating.

    Many in the oil industry in Canada and the United States support a carbon tax paid by consumers, especially if it means getting political support for energy projects. Better to tax consumers than industry. The Canada West Foundation, a big Keystone booster, has often supported a carbon tax in Canada. “We need a carbon price: transparent, unmistakable and extending across the economy,” wrote a foundation official recently.

    Fully implemented, a carbon tax would impose major burdens on consumers and energy users in an effort to use so-called “market signals” to reduce fossil fuel use. For Canadians, the trade-off would be higher prices for energy at home in exchange for greater energy exports to the United States. Hello Canada!

    That may be, but there is a greater geopolitical play here: the Chinese. The Chinese have invested heavily in the Oil Sands in the last three/four years. Ottawa put the brakes on early last year out of fear of a takeover, and the US balked. So the Chinese started doing joint ventures with Alberta companies. Then the Keystone thing happened. And Canadians were not about to be bullied.

    Environment Minister Jim Prentice is no fan of a single-buyer market for exported bitumen, which actually sells at a discount in the U. S. compared with Middle East oil despite coming from a friendly neighbour. He’d like competition injected into the system.

    “Doesn’t it help Canada’s exporters to have alternative market choices?” he noted in a recent interview.

    “We need transportation mechanisms to ship it to the West Coast. Refineries in the U. S. have limited capacity and we don’t have anywhere else to sell it. Having the capacity to ship it to the West Coast would keep everybody honest, so I think it’s good policy.”

    From: China dives into oil sands as U. S. balks

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=a045c7a5-4146-496c-b477-2e7f77a30ed5

    This last takeover deal was approved today, February 12th…in the USA. Canada approved it on Dec 15, 2012, and said it would be the last, along with Petronas buying a nat gas company.

    The U.S. government approved Cnooc Ltd.’s 0883.HK -0.13% $15.1 billion purchase of Canadian oil-sands operator Nexen Inc., NXY.T +2.04% clearing the last significant hurdle in China’s biggest overseas deal.

    The Canadian government approved the deal in December, after an extensive review of its foreign investment rules and its policy toward state-owned enterprises, in particular. Britain also approved the deal. The acquisition was subject to U.S. and British approval because Nexen controls significant assets in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324196204578299862176958542.html

    So the quid pro quo could be Keystone to hold Canada’s feet to the fire about allowing any more takeovers, and possibly joint ventures. After all, most of the domestic operators in the Oil Sands are American oil companies, and America needs to protect its oil supply. A duplicate pipeline fits the bill (there already is one to the US, been there for 30 years). Selling it all to China, when China also controls the rare earth market and has stated it will be reducing RE exports in 2013…not a smart idea. (Quebec has huge rare earth deposits in the northern part of its province, and deals were made in Manhattan last year; however, once the Quebecers discover the enormous toxic radiation waste and the damage to the water supply if they dump it into the lakes the way they do in China–that’s all they’ll need to hear–they’ll shut it down.)

  44. “In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence.”

    I thought fracking was bad. It causes earthquakes and the world will split in half, or some such thing. (Sarc.)

    Did the ruffling sound of money change his mind?

    Greenie-loons will not be pleased.

  45. “It is unclear if this means a new tax or a carbobn tax since the language is vague. – Anthony”
    I’d vote for a carbobn tax.

  46. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.
    It’s a pity that the President does not refer to the possibility of the start of a mini ice age as did the London mayor Boris Johnson on January 21 of this year. With this statement, the mayor witnesses of an open mind. Why does Obama one-sidedly believe in the overwhelming judgment of science? Thirty years ago I also believed in the conclusions of the Club of Rome. It was predicted that in the beginning of the years 2000 oil should be exhausted!!
    Which technology will replace oil and gas? The promotion of electric cars in wintry circumstances is very dangerous. I read in a folder about an electric car that the autonomy of the battery will be reduced by 5/8 in wintry conditions! And I don’t know if the running of the electric heater is reckoned in. This is a must otherwise one would freeze to death especially when the temperature outside is 0°F or -20°C. I hope that ambulances and fire engines will be exempted from the obligation to ride with electric cars or trucks.
    I find it also revolting that China has been held up as an example concerning clean energy. We recently witnessed how during several weeks a deadly cloud was suffocating every citizen in Bejing so that many factories had to be closed.

  47. A Brit here so you Americans are free to ignore this comment as ignorant and irrelevant.
    However, I note that the speech is significant in what it doesn’t mention; Culture, the arts and the creative industries (other than engineering).

    This may be warm, bipartisan words which are intended to avoid inciting a flare up of the Culture Wars. But gun-ownership looks like a divisive issue from this side of the Pond. Your President doesn’t look like a meek and mild conciliator.

    Instead he chooses to focus on Science, Engineering and building Infrastructure. Look at the passage immediately below the bold text. How does this play with wildlife-loving Hollywood celebrities? Not well. But it will boost local money-circulation and long-term investment.

    We can all realise that 3d-printing is of more use for prototypes than mass production, that the recent warm years are not a sign of continued warming and that windpower is economically dubious. But at least your President is talking about the right subjects.

    My point is simple; you may not like his arguments or his answers but his agenda is good.

  48. But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.

    Beware anyone telling you “its for the sake of the children” because any argument used like that is being used to manipulate for their own purposes. Its also condescending to our children to assume that we can handle a “supposed catastrophe” better then the children can. Are we saying that our children are dumber then we are? Are we trying to claim that we have better technology today then our children will have in the future? I just don’t get it, we are told that we must sacrifice for the greater good, and yet all the evidence points to the fact that our children will have an easier time dealing with any sort of catastrophe then we will.

    Having said that, Of all the lies told by Obama, the claims of the last 15 years being hot is probably the worst….. I covered this in a write-up on my blog…. but to paraphrase, the entire concept that he last 15 years have been warm is a no-brainer. Its a statement like that which is meant to be misleading. Of course we have been hot the last 15 years. Warming stopped 15 years ago, and since we did not cool, temperatures are the same as they have been over the last 15 years. So knowing that, we have over 100 years of record keeping for temperatures and the last 15 years are the hottest out of that greater then 100 years. So is it a surprise that our planet is warmer then it has been in the last 100 years? If so, then I have a bridge to sell to you. I mean seriously…..

    That is proof that warming is continuing? Is Obama stupid or just the people who tell him what to say? Or are they lying?

    I just don’t get it really to repeat the line “we are warmer then we have been in 100 years” and to say this is proof of catastrophe while pointing to weather events that are normal on our planet. Did these people take leave of their senses?

    Think about that for a second….. These people will have you believe that its unexpected to find the last 15 years being hot when compared to the last 100 years. But of course man! These people would understand when you explain the statistics to them when talking about say elevations and how on the Earth you find the highest elevations in the mountains, but golly gee, The highest temperatures are found on our planet when we are at our warmest? That is proof of catastrophe of course, but its also unimportant, tells you nothing and is meant to mislead people into thinking the world really is going to hell. The worst part of all of this is that these people just want to dictate what we can and can not do.

    You can not use coal power. You can not use normal light bulbs. You can not use too much water. You can not tell the truth, otherwise you are denier. These people are fascists to the core when you think about it. They just want to tell everyone else how to live while they make no sacrifices or perhaps token sacrifices themselves. Just a bunch of hypocrites telling lies and deceiving people so as to gain power. I guess we are not as advanced as we thought we were if silly superstitions and sound-bites like Obama uses is thought of as the truth. These people truly are bizarre. But shrug, I guess we are forced to fight against the deceptions since no warmist will. They won’t correct Obama or any other politician who misleads or lies…because “its for the greater good.”

  49. This is my translation of the energy portion of the SOTU message from Obamaspeak to Reality English:
    “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.”

    Thanks to drilling leases approved under the Bush administration we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.

    “ We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. “

    We are requiring future cars to double the driving distance on a gallon of gas by making them smaller and lighter. We have also doubled the amount of renewable energy from sources like solar and wind – from half a percent to a full percent of our energy need at a cost of over half a million dollar per job created.

    “We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.”

    Thanks to fracking, done nearly exclusively on private land in spite of the efforts of the EPA we produce more natural gas than ever before driving down the cost of natural gas.

    “And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.”

    Over the last four years our emissions of the beneficial carbon dioxide have actually fallen. Thanks to the increase in carbon dioxide the world can now feed two billion people more. Without this increase there would be mass starvation in the developing countries.

    “But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”

    Our children are now facing a national debt of more than sixteen trillion dollars, in no small part by tilting at windmills.

    “Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.”

    Thanks to the fact that we have put weather stations on airports, on paved surfaces and in places of rapid land use changes, the measured temperatures have shown 12 of the last 15 years have been the hottest on record. It is true that urban heat islands show an increase, but temperature records for weather stations in undisturbed areas show a slight decrease.
    The whole portion can be seen at:

    http://lenbilen.com/2013/02/13/a-response-to-the-energy-portion-of-the-state-of-the-union-message/

  50. The lure of new revenue is never far below the surface of rhetoric. It’s like a magnet that compels them to say stupid things, subvert public policy, and ignore climate model forecast errors or data quality issues.

  51. ” We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”
    Is he really an idiot, or just a puppet mouthing platitudes? Hard to tell. It’s going to be a long four years.

  52. “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…”

    He is actually misquoting JFK because the word “progress” has since been redefined to mean its exact opposite. Progress today is the power to obstruct other people’s activity. The only really progressive part in today’s meaning of “progressive” is that Progressives are becoming progressively more obstructionist.

  53. The speech writers of such ilk know that time is running out before cyclical temp increases turn down from the flat pattern in recent years. At that point the mountain to climb on spin will be too high even for a silver tongue lawyer with top flight win-the-day debate skills. Or you simply play off the various donor blocks with words in place of commitment.

  54. re post by: justsomeguy31167 says: February 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Ya Kevin, and we will never be energy independent (oops, we are headed there) nor will we ever have control of our budgets (oops, deficit dropping every year since Bush). Facts:

    Your “facts” and interpretations are extremely deceptive and misleading. How about we try some more accurate information relative to your two issues.

    Fact: Oil and gas exploration, development, and production on federal lands is significantly DOWN under Obama. The only reason we are producing more is because of fracking on private lands that Obama cannot rein in. His offshore drilling moratorium and subsequent delays in violation of court order, and many other actions have not only reduced the amont we could be producing, but driven up costs significantly for all of us, and wasted literally billions of tax dollars. e.g., The move towards energy independence is in spite of Obama, not because of him.

    Fact: Historically an incoming president has always been considered responsible for that years deficit for a number of reasons, and in many ways this is even more true for Obama than many past presidents (I’ll elaborate below), e.g., Obama owns the 2009 deficit, not Bush.

    Fact: In 2009, Bush requested far lower spending (3% increase) than the Democratically controlled congress passed (17.9%!!!) – with Obama voting “yes” for the greatly expanded spending. Bush didn’t sign that budget into law, Obama did in March 2009. e.g., Obama and the Democrats own the 2009 budget, not Bush.

    Fact: The average deficit during Bush’s eight years was $221 Billion – that’s even tho he inherited a recession when taking office (remember the dot.com bust), had 9/11 occur, and two wars. Leaving aside the controversial issue of 2009 budget, Bush’s highest deficit was $458 billion. Under Obama we’ve had four years with annual deficits above $1300 Billion
    In 8 years Bush added $4.8 Trillion in federal debt. In 3 1/2 years, Obama added over $5 Trillion. e.g., by any rational measure, Obama’s deficits and effect of the debt has been radically worse than Bush’s, on both an annual and presidential term basis.

    Fact: In 2007 when the democrats took over both houses the budget deficit created by the outgoing Republican Congress was only $168 billion, e.g., about a tenth of Obama’s worst deficit. Under Obama it has been over $1 trillion every year, and as high as $1.7 trillion. e.g., Obama and the democratic party controlled congress are responsible for the drastic increase in spending since 2007, not Bush.

    Fact: The total outstanding debt in January 2007 was $8.2 trillion (the last year of a Republican controlled congress). It is now over $16 trillion – and while the Republican controlled House has passed budgets, Obama’s 2 proposed budgets (he’s required to do them annually, but has not) were so grossly profligate, it was unable to get a single vote – even from democrats. Meanwhile, the Democratically controlled Senate has refused to pass a budget for 4 years, which means we’ve been running on continuing resolutions from the last budget passed – e.g., the vastly increased spending of 2009, which Obama had promised would be temporary. e.g., Obama and the democratic party controlled congress are responsible for the drastic increase in spending since 2007, not Bush.

    Fact: Obama didn’t “inherit” the 2009 deficit, he helped create it. As Senator, he voted for TARP & bailouts, as president elect he specifically requested Bush approve the 2nd half of TARP, which Bush said he would only approve on Obama’s request, and Obama voted for the 2009 budget. It goes even further: ““The Democrat Congress [in 2008], confident Obama was going to win in 2008, passed only three of fiscal 2009’s 12 appropriations bills (Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security). The Democrat Congress passed the rest of them [in 2009], and [President] Obama signed them.” So Obama played a very direct role in the runaway fiscal 2009 spending explosion.” e.g., Obama and the Democrat controlled congress are responsible for the 2009 budget, it wasn’t ‘inherited.’

    Fact: Furthermore, Obama wasn’t obligated to accept the 2009 budget. In fact, he not only voted in favor of it, he signed it into law himself in March 2009. He could have refused to sign it. Even had it already been signed, Obama could have overturned much of Bush’s 2009 budget had he wanted to, just as Reagan did to Jimmy Carter’s when Reagan took office. See here. Obama wasn’t just stuck with it, especially considering his party had strong control of both houses of congress, even a filibuster proof majority for some time. He chose not to, he chose, instead, to INCREASE spending drastically. He chose to add on the nearly trillion dollar stimulus that had little effect, the 2nd half of TARP, and all the other bailouts during that time and since. He’s now calling for even more stimulus spending. Nor was any of Obama’s deficit from ‘unfunded wars,’ as some try to claim. Supplementary appropriations, as those were, are still counted in that year’s deficit and debt figures. Those went into Bush’s deficit and debt tally, not Obama’s. e.g., Obama and the Democrat controlled congress are responsible for the 2009 budget, it wasn’t ‘inherited,’ and they are responsible for the massive deficits each year of Obama’s term.

    Fact: To be meaningful, the deficit has to be compared to GDP. Since you want to falsely blame the 2009 budget on Bush, I’ll present the deficit/GDP ratio using an average so it’s partially attributed to Bush, partially to Obama. The source linked provides all three scenarios tho, with incoming year as historically judged to be that of the incoming president, the average as below, and the Obama deception of trying to blame the incoming year on the previous president. Any version shows Bush with vastly better ratio.

    Here are the ratios of deficit to GDP for the past five presidents, adjusted to account for partial year budgets both incoming and outgoing at start & finish of their terms.

    Ronald Reagan …..4.2%
    G. H. W. Bush……. 4.2%
    Bill Clinton ………….0.5%
    George W. Bush ….2.7%
    Barack Obama …..*8.9%
    *fiscal2012 ends Sept.30, therefore estimated
    Data source: Economic Report of the President, February 2012

    Note: G.W. Bush’s is worsened by TARP – but recall that Bush said he would only approve the second half of TARP if requested to do so by Obama, since Obama had already been elected. Obama requested it, yet that is counted towards Bush. Then in 2010 & 2011, a sizable chuck of that was repaid, significantly helping lower Obama’s percentage – and even so his is sky high in historical terms. For this fact and the next one below, see: source here. e.g., by any relevant measure, Obama has grossly increased spending and deficits compared to any of the Bush years.

    Fact: “As for spending itself, during the George W. Bush years (2001-08), federal outlays averaged 19.6 percent of GDP, a little less than during the Clinton years (1993-2000), at 19.8% and far below Reagan, whose outlays never dropped below 21 percent of GDP in any year and averaged 22.4%. Even factoring in the TARP year (2009), Bush’s average outlays as a proportion of the economy was 20.3 percent – far below Reagan and only a half-point below Clinton. As for Obama, even excluding 2009, his spending has averaged 24.1 percent of GDP – the highest level for any three years since World War II.” e.g., by any relevant measure, Obama has grossly increased spending and deficits compared to any of the Bush years.

    Some bits above from this Forbes article.

  55. Oops, minor correction to my post that doesn’t affect the conclusions – Bush signed off on the 2009 budget, not Obama. However not only did Obama vote yes to that budget, he drastically increased 2009 spending: “Obama didn’t come in and live with the budget Bush had approved. He immediately signed off on enormous spending programs that had been specifically rejected by Bush. This included a $410 billion spending bill that Bush had refused to sign before he left office. Obama signed it on March 10, 2009. Bush had been chopping brush in Texas for two months at that point.” My apologies for the error.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/05/24/msnbc-and-white-house-cite-bogus-report-claiming-obama-spending-binge#ixzz2KngVIfg6

  56. After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.

    Doubled gas mileage? Just because you sign a law for 50 mpg average cars do not perform to your wishes. A bit like the EPA rule on cellulosic biofuel.
    see – http://www.energyxxi.org/sites/default/files/MetricoftheMonth-NOV11MotorVehicleMPG.pdf and the chart on page 3. Doubling not even close past 2035.

    Doubled renewable energy? Per EIA renewable output doubled from 2005 to 2011. Is time frame he was stating?

    http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_03_01_a.html

    Everyone energy bill lower? Since the war on coal has progressed, state mandates inflate the price of renewable and PUC commissions set rates has your bill actually gone down?

    Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America.
    Capacity versus output?

    We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

    Belief = Faith – Believe what ever you want, what can you prove.
    Can we also ‘believe’ this is a propaganda war with made up statistics and false ‘computer models’ in lieu of science.

  57. Obama said:
    “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”

    We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy (which was far from unprecedented), and the most severe drought in decades (which hasn’t been nearly as bad as the dust bowl years which occurred long before man was adding any significant amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, and which also isn’t nearly as bad as the anthropological and geological records show us have occurred periodically multiple times in the past), and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen (caused primarily by our faulty land use laws which have resulted in a massive pile up of combustible materials, resulting in far less frequent but far worse fires), were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of orwellian pseudo-science, and emotional belief and fears on the part of some people, and the desires of politicians to find any excuse to exert more control – and act before it’s too late.

    There, fixed Obama’s statement for him.

  58. Rational Db8,

    Excellent deconstruction of the false claims made by “justsomeguy31167″. Kudos for setting the record straight. Obama owns the deficit and the resulting fiscal crisis, which is far from being over. Now we have many more $Trillions to pay off. And what did we get for it? Crony capitalism a la Solyndra. But our roads still have the same old pot holes.

  59. To policycritic:

    One sentence in your long post grabbed my attention:

    “…once the Quebecers discover the enormous toxic radiation waste and the damage to the water supply…”

    Uhhh–what are you talking about? “Rare earths” refers to the lanthanide series in
    the periodic table. All but one of those are most emphatically NOT radioactive. Further, the
    exception, promethium (element number 61), is considered an artificial element, because all
    of its isotopes have short half-lives. Therefore it’s all but unknown in nature. If you want
    to produce promethium, you need a nuclear fission reactor.

    Lanthanide salts are somewhat toxic chemically, but you are way off base talking about
    radiation.

  60. “But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”

    Bye, bye Constitution. Hello government Of Obama, By Obama, and For Obama.

  61. Speaking about his gun control proposals (I caught the last 10 minutes, refused to watch any more), he said, “But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can….” (talking about voters sending a president to office and members to Congress)

    But instead, this is the liar who’s Sec of State uttered the words, during questioning by Congress on Benghazi, “what difference does it make”.

    Make a difference? Or “what difference does it make”? I want to puke.  

    “What difference does it make” is the mantra I’m now hanging on all Libs and their policy prescriptions.

    Wind, solar, biomass physically incapable of meeting US energy demand for electricity? “What difference does it make”?

    Another trillion in federal “stimulus” spending, another trillion of budget deficit this year, national debt equal to 100% of GDP? “What difference does it make”?

    Stricter federal  gun control laws despite the fact that Chicago – where handgun ownership is ILLEGAL – is empirical proof that it absolutely, unequivocally doesn’t work? “What difference does it make”?

    Carbon tax despite the fact that it won’t make ANY difference to average global temps and despite the fact that the nat gas boom lowered US CO2 emissions more than cap and trade would have or a carbon tax possibly could? “What difference does it make”?

    I am counting down the days until I go John Galt on America’s ass.  If all the productive eventually join me, we will show libtards EXACTLY “what difference” we made once we are no longer funding their utopian Socialist dream. 

  62. Two items related to state of the union address.
    EE News carries an interview with Senate and House members reacting to state of the union energy and climate issues:

    http://www.eenews.net/tv/transcript/1623

    State of the Union:
    Senate, House members react to president’s energy and climate proposals
    Special Report
    Aired: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    “With President Obama prioritizing energy and climate change in the first State of the Union address of his second term, will Congress act to move legislation? In this E&ETV Special Report, members of the Senate and House of Representatives react to the president’s comments on natural gas, climate change, oil and gas revenues, and energy technology research. Lawmakers interviewed include: Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.); Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.); Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.); Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.); Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas); Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.); Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio); Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas); Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.); and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.).”

    National Academies Press provides a link “Your Guide to the 2013 State of the Union Address”:

    http://notes.nap.edu/2013/02/13/the-state-of-the-union-address/?utm_medium=etmail&utm_source=The%20National%20Academies%20Press&utm_campaign=State+of+the+Union+02.13.13&utm_content=&utm_term=#.URwPcmd8WS8

    The text of the address is interspersed with NAP PDF downloads at appropriate locations. There is an option to download free PDFs; the link requires login.

  63. Re Chris R. says: February 13, 2013 at 10:46 am
    To policycritic:
    One sentence in your long post grabbed my attention:
    “…once the Quebecers discover the enormous toxic radiation waste and the damage to the water supply…”

    Lanthanides in question are not radioactive themselves, but are found in geological deposits in association with naturally-occurring radioactive elements uranium and thorium and their radioactive daughters. I don’t know whether the geological association of RE with radioactivity in China and the in US deposits in Mountain Pass California is the same in Quebec. There is much information on line, for example:

    http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2012/09/19/rare-earth-metals-will-we-have-enough/

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/clean-energys-dirty-little-secret/307377/

    The Canadian Chamber of Commerce April 2012 policy paper is at:

    http://www.chamber.ca/images/uploads/Reports/2012/201204RareEarthElements.pdf

  64. The best time to tax something is when its cost is cheap. Carbon tax = money for health care, count on it.

  65. justsomeguy31167 says:
    February 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Ya Kevin, and we will never be energy independent (oops, we are headed there) nor will we ever have control of our budgets (oops, deficit dropping every year since Bush). Facts:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economywatch/us-fast-track-energy-independence-report-suggests-1C8344034

    —————————————–
    Did you even bother to read the first paragraph of your first link?

    “U.S. oil and gas production is evolving so rapidly — and demand is dropping so quickly — that in just five years the U.S. could no longer need to buy oil from any source but Canada, according to Citigroup’s global head of commodities research.”

    Perhaps in your universe the War of 1812 had a different outcome, but in my world Canada is not part of the US. Or were you advocating for more synfuel production from our vast stores of coal?

  66. As has been said many time, it is not about the science but science fiction for control over our lives. There will be no major fact checking by the media, they are in the Obama’s corner, they got him elected and re-elected. This administration is what any socialist/ marxist is about control…control over our lives, careers etc. Normal light bulbs outlawed, govt fools will be running our healthcare, EPA rules strangling businesses. I was in a group of layoffs from my company in Dec, I have been in similar situations in the past economic slowdowns, but this one is the worst, because of who is in charge in Washington, nothing but lies, and attacking of successful people. His EPA and other Royal edicts will only kill more jobs and cause companies and investors not to expand. There has been great discussions about climate science, and great work by Anthony and everyone to expose the facts, but it is still an uphill battle. Too many people will go along with the bs about CO2 and manmade climate change, because too many people have been brain washed by media , education centers at all levels. The economy still sucks, millions of jobs have disappeared and the labor participation rate is the lowest it has been in decades,.16 + trillion debt. But it was nothing but lies from this teleprompter. The stock market may be up but that is from the cheap (at least for now) money the fed has been printing. We must continue fighting to get the facts out and then as a country we may have a chance. I tell everyone I know about wattsupwiththat.com and hopefully some minds have been changed.

  67. This speech is the very reason I believe everything Obama doesn’t say. Increasing numbers of more intense storms. Data says FAIL. The only reason we are producing more oil and gas is because of private, not federal leasing. There is no proposal from this government to reduce red tape and cut permitting time. Has anyone read the BLM proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing? Those rules will increase cost and time for permitting, making this an egregious FAIL. I don’t know how you can raise money for an energy trust unless you increase somebody’s costs somewhere. Which in the end will always be us, the customer. Any rebates will go to crony capitalists, just like the stimulus did. Making this just a part of a rolling FAIL.

    And putting more money in low-density, intermittent energy like solar and wind? And not a single word about the third rail of renewable energy, storage. FAIL on so many fronts.

    All of it is just picking around the edges. Raising the minimum wage to $9/hr will net you $18,720/yr, and the poverty level for 2012 was set at $23,050. So that will get you out of poverty? FAIL.

    But Obama is not our worst failure. We are. We not only put him there once but twice. Freedom is just an experiment which has lasted only a few centuries.

    The 2nd amendment was not for hunters and plinkers, it was to guard against tyranny in the age of the musket (now the assault rifle). Japan thought twice about attacking the mainland for the very reason they saw a well-armed populace. So the answer to lunacy (Newtown, Aurora et al) is banning assault rifles, which last year were responsible for some 300 deaths (handguns did the majority of this dirty work into the many thousands) really make us all that much safer? Well it might have prevented or delayed Aurora, but it would have done nothing for Newtown. And I have a sneaking suspicion that most criminals tend not to opt for background checks now just as much as they will after stricter background checks. Sure, I bet everyone would like to prevent any more Newtown’s and Aurora’s, but how?

    We’ve been chipping away at guns for a long time. And it is a pretty common strategy to chip assault rifles off, then sometime later go after other guns, or make it so difficult and expensive that few will be so tempted. By the time you have to buy insurance for a gun(s), a gun-safe, lock the ammo away somewhere else, with or without biometric locks, usefulness for defense becomes a truly expensive joke.

    There was just so much boiler-plate feldercarb one could go on and on. But it all boils down to just this. It won’t take much of a credit downgrade to where we are borrowing not just 41c/dollar but 50c/dollar, especially if you keep increasing the debt limit. At that point even a caveman knows you can never pay it back. Not a lot of wiggle room left here folks. So, We The People own this one. We did it to ourselves. And it isn’t about party or politics. It’s about freedom. We are going to find out whether we deserve it. And if we can afford it.

    Geologists tend to eventually have a sense of 4th dimension detachment, not just your 30,000-foot view, but stepping and stepping back to where we can see all of time that is available, or just to the Maunder Minimum etc. etc. Even though whatever happens in our anthropogenic future affects me too, in geologist/anthropologist mode I don’t find it all that disquieting. I see an experiment called freedom which will fail or succeed. At the very worst, Obama is merely accelerating the weirding, begun before most of us were born, within this experiment. When back to earth at this now half-precession old extreme interglacial, my Homo sapiens disgust with this President is absolute. But the geologist/anthropologist in me sees him simply as a catalyst, nothing more. To crystallize that thought, maybe this iteration of the genus Homo just isn’t ready for freedom. If the anthropologist in you “is in it” for the genus, loosing such a “catalyst” at such a shaky climate time as a half-precession old extreme interglacial could end up increasing the purity of the “chlorine” WE might end-up adding to our very own gene pool right as we tip into a ~90kyr glacial. So, from the eccentricity paced climate perch, difficult to see as a bad thing…….

    And then there is always this thought. Imagine, a wise organism, such as ourselves, stripping out the very climate security blanket “we” abhor right at a half-precession old extreme interglacial. If there is even a chance (and that would be precisely 5 out of the last 6) that this lovely interglacial is just about kaput, what would you do, if it was all up to you?

    Enjoy your stay at the late-Holocene Climate Casino!

  68. BO says….
    “We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote.
    … Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.”
    I believe they have a vote, as does Gabby Giffords and everyone else he mentioned. And if she’s buried in Chicago, little Hadiya will also have a vote.
    And lest someone think I’m making fun of a murdered child, I’m not. If anyone is abusing her loss, it’s the cynical self-serving politician who supports fraudulent voting and uses Hadiya’s death – and her parent’s grief – for his own advancement.

  69. Today, I and many sceptics received an email from Greg Combet, the Australian Federal Minister for Climate Change and Efficient Energy.
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    Have you had the chance to catch up on President Obama’s State of the Union Address today? Here’s what he had to say on climate change.

    President Obama called on Congress to put in place a market-based mechanism to deal with carbon emissions.

    That means President Obama is calling for a price on carbon. Just like we have here in Australia thanks to this Labor Government.

    From our experience, we know it won’t be easy and that the President will meet tough opposition.

    For years climate sceptics have argued the United States is not acting, so nor should Australia. Can you share this video and show them that’s not true?

    The President also pointed out that China is going full steam ahead on moving to renewable energy sources and the United States has to do the same.

    These shifts on the international stage make it more important than ever that Australia continues to act on climate change. We must not go backwards.

    You can check out some handy facts on China’s action on climate change by clicking here.

    Greg

    PS. Can you help us defend the carbon price from Tony Abbott by chipping in $10? We can’t afford to fall behind the rest of the world on this issue.
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    There is sooo much wrong with this it is hard to know where to begin. I especially like the desperate plea for money at the end. Trying to fix the budget deficit are we?

    • In terms of that “money plea” at the end, it reminds me of the roughly 200 emails I got in the run-up to the presidential election asking me to send Obama just $5 to help him fight the multigazillionaire Republicans. I’d guess about 50 of those emails were personal pleas from his wife and children asking me to send him $5 as a birthday present, complete with cutesy pics of the kids trying to feed him birthday cake etc.

      “That means President Obama is calling for a price on carbon. Just like we have here in Australia thanks to this Labor Government.”

      That’s a great quote from an official source: very helpful in your arguments if anyone claims “Oh, Obama didn’t call for a carbon tax!” If they say that, then they must be saying that the Australian Foreign Minister is either stupid or a liar.

      – MJM

  70. Whoops… OK… he’s not the Foreign Minister at all! My mistake!! He’s actually, ” Greg Combet, the Australian Federal Minister for Climate Change and Efficient Energy.”

    They have a Minister **FOR** Climate Change? What? The Aussies don’t like their climate? What do they want to change it to? How are they going to bring this about? Has the Pentagon been alerted? Will Antarctica become a botanical garden filled with cute little expatriate kangaroos?

    Tune in next week, for the next in our series of “Amazing Facts” (intoned in a deep echoey sepulchral voice…..)

    – MJM

  71. The House Natural Resources Committee calls Obama on some of his lies regarding energy (justsomeguy ought to take note). See the article online for a graphic showing the changes in average days to complete annually since 2005 thru 2012.

    Under President Obama’s Leadership, Permits to Drill on Federal Lands Take 30 Percent Longer to Approve

    WASHINGTON, D.C., February 13, 2013 – During last night’s State of the Union, President Obama claimed his Administration has been actively working to speed up Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) for energy producers on federal lands:

    “That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.”

    But facts are stubborn things and that statement simply is not true. Under President Obama’s leadership, it has taken on average 30 percent longer, compared to the previous four years, to approve new drilling permits.

    The Obama Administration is playing fast and loose with the facts by obfuscating the difference between the lengths of time it takes BLM to complete an APD with the total time an APD takes to be approved. In fact, President Obama has added new burdensome regulations, which has bogged down energy producers in mounds of new red tape and paperwork, increasing their average processing time by 76 percent (see chart).

    If President Obama wants to see how APDs should be approved, he needs to look no further than the state of North Dakota, which has increased their oil production by nearly 800% and can approve permits to drill in 10 days rather than 307.

    This is just the latest example of how the Obama Administration is misleading the American people and being disingenuous about their desire for increased energy production on federal lands.

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