Last night, President Barack Obama spoke to the nation with his State of the Union Address. Of course, some of the hot topics he discussed were taxes, terrorism and education, but he also had a lot to say about the environment and energy consumption.
Obama stressed that the United States has become significantly more reliant on domestic energy sources. In the last three years, he said the country has opened millions of new acres of land to find new oil and gas sources, and that he has instructed his "administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources." The president added that American oil production is at an eight-year high, and as a result, the nation's dependence on imported oil is lower than it has been in 16 years.
While that may be great for the United States, it still means that the country is dependant on fossil fuels – American or otherwise – and as is well documented by now, that's bad for the environment. Obama said that the country has only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, which means it's important to find an "all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy."
With that, he explained that the government has invested heavily in renewable energy, and as a result, the use of clean energy sources has nearly doubled and thousands of green careers have opened up.
"We've subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough," Obama said in his speech. "It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits. Create these jobs."
The president said he is directing his administration to fund the development of enough clean energy to power 3 million homes. He also suggested that reducing manufacturer's waste and encouraging businesses to upgrade their buildings could lower energy bills by $100 billion in the next decade while reducing carbon emissions.