"Climate change is a fact. And when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did."
But in Tuesday’s speech, President Obama missed his opportunity to truly commit to that vision. According to Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, as long as his administration keeps throwing lifelines to old sources of energy like oil and gas, we won't be able to lead the world on clean energy solutions like wind and solar.
(Don’t miss the “Take Action” option at the end of this article.)
President Obama said that natural gas is "the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change." He also said, "I'll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations."
“He's trying to have it both ways,” said Brune, “but we can't drill and frack our way out of the climate hole we're in.”
The president is right to be proud of America's progress on solar energy and the historic steps he's taking to crack down on dangerous carbon pollution. When he unveiled his climate plan last summer, many Americans said it gave them hope that he would continue to lead on climate and clean energy solutions.
We know how to build a 100 percent clean-energy economy, and it doesn't include tearing up more of our national treasures to pull more dirty fuels out of the ground. Getting all of the energy we need without using fossil fuels is no longer a question of whether we can - but whether we will.
“President Obama has the power to put an immediate stop to future drilling and fracking on public lands, but it doesn't sound like he's ready to use that power,” continued Brune.
Now is the time for that leadership. Oil and gas companies are relentlessly pushing the president to keep one foot in the past - we need to be just as relentless in showing him how to stand up to the fossil fuel billionaires.
TAKE ACTION: Click here to tell President Obama: Our government shouldn't be in the business of propping up yesterday's dirty fuels. It's time to end oil and gas fracking on public lands.
(Amanda Carlucci has her finger on the pulse of the green movement. Stay up to date on the latest in green activism. You CAN make a difference. Be a part of the movement, and click here to subscribe. It's anonymous and free!)