President Obama's Inaugural Address Suggests Climate Action Looming

President Obama's Inaugural Address Suggests Climate Action Looming

January 20, 2009 07:21

With the inauguration today of President Barack Obama, the likelihood of looming federal climate change regulation increased, as expected, but even Mr. Obama’s Inaugural Address left little doubt that his list of near-term priority issues includes energy and climate change, as he referenced these issues three times in his speech.

Mr. Obama said that the ways the nation uses energy “strengthens our adversaries and threaten our planet.”  He then said: “For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.”

After canvassing other domestic and foreign policy issues and striding through his theme, Mr. Obama touched on the climate issue again as he neared the conclusion of his speech: “With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.”

And so if there was any doubt that the issue of climate change regulation was still foremost on the mind of Mr. Obama, today’s Inaugural Address provides strong evidence to the contrary, suggesting that his administration intends to hit the ground running with this issue in mind.


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The business case for the development of renewable energy projects, from biodiesel and ethanol to wind, solar, and distributed generation, is more compelling than ever as tax and regulatory incentives combine to attract investments. Emerging issues in environmental law and increasingly recognized principles of corporate social responsibility are encouraging public companies to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions, install clean energy alternatives, and invest overseas in projects under the Kyoto Protocol to respond to climate change concerns.

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