Michael Bastasch, DCNF
While President Donald Trump touted policies to make the U.S. into an energy superpower, his first State of the Union (SOTU) address to Congress left out a hallmark of Obama-era speeches.
Trump’s address is the first in eight years to not refer to manmade global warming — nine years if you include former President Barack Obama’s 2009 address to Congress. Instead, Trump emphasized deregulation and boosting energy production — many of the regulations Trump rescinded were Obama-era global warming policies.
“In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history,” Trump said in his speech Tuesday night.
“We have ended the war on American Energy – and we have ended the War on clean coal,” Trump said. “We are now an exporter of energy to the world.”
Nearly all of Obama’s addresses to Congress explicitly mentioned climate change. Obama addressed Congress eight times, explicitly mentioning climate change in all but one speech.
While Obama’s 2011 SOTU address did not explicitly say climate change, he did call for investments in “clean energy technology” to “protect the planet.” Obama’s six other SOTUs used the term “climate change.”
While not technically a SOTU, Obama said in 2009, “to truly transform our economy, to protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.”
Obama mentioned climate change three times in his 2010 SOTU address, saying “[e]ven if you doubt the evidence [on climate change], providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future.”
Obama’s 2015 SOTU mentioned climate change four times, saying “no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.”
In his final SOTU, Obama again mentioned climate change four times. “If anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it,” the president said.
“You will be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it,” Obama said in 2016.
Later that year, Trump won the presidential election on a platform calling for the repeal of Obama-era climate policies and boosting energy production, including coal.
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