DENVER – In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his go-it-alone posture on key issues, including energy production and the environment. The president will continue side-stepping Congress by using executive actions to implement his climate change goals, which include rules targeting oil and natural gas producers across the West.
Tim Wigley, president of Western Energy Alliance, offered the following reaction to the address:
“The president still fails to accept one basic fact about climate change: The United States has dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions, more than other developed countries, primarily because of increased use of natural gas. It’s not because of wind or solar.
“Yet Obama’s legacy will be overreaching regulations designed to constrict production of oil and natural gas in favor of unreliable alternatives. It’s no coincidence there’s a significant decline in production of natural gas on federal lands while it has soared elsewhere. Since 2008, production on public lands is down more than 19 percent.
“The President doesn’t plan to include a prescribed list of new policy goals to Congress. That’s by design. He has no intention of working with elected leaders to implement his goals for energy and the environment. He’ll close out his term by continuing to issue new rules through the federal agencies that kill jobs and economic growth in order to promote his climate change agenda, which he couldn’t even pass when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate.
“After the past seven years we need a president with a vision that embraces innovation, technology and the abundant oil and natural gas available in the West, not centralized Washington policies.”
Western Energy Alliance represents over 450 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. Alliance members are independents, the majority of which are small businesses with an average of fifteen employees.