A Sustainability Critique of the Obama

A Sustainability Critique of the Obama

10 Pages · 2014 · 278 KB · English

dent Obama. The Blueprint, a 2011 policy document that sets out various current and proposed legislative or executive energy measures, serves as a useful starting point for analy U.S. natural gas production is at record levels and domestic tial health and environmental effects of hydraulic fractu

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UC Davis UC Davis Previously Published Works Title A Sustainability Critique of the Obama "AlloftheAbove" Energy Approach Permalink https://escholarshiporg/uc/item/9sq6c1zh Journal Journal of Energy & Environmental Law, 4 Author Lin, Albert Publication Date 2014 eScholarshiporg Powered by the California Digital Library University of California Winter 2014 JOURNAL OF ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 17 A Sustainability Critique of the Obama ?Allofthe Above? Energy Approach by Albert C Lin* T hroughout his tenure and 2012 reelection cam paign, President Barack Obama has touted an ?all oftheabove? energy strategy that embraces domestic sources of energy ranging from natural gas and oil to solar and wind 1 Although energy production has received the most attention, the strategy also includes measures to increase energy e!ciency and modernize energy systems Some critics have found the alloftheabove label misleading because the strategy does little to promote coal as an energy option 2 O t h ers have found the alloftheabove label troubling because it fails to make di!cult policy choices, such as those that favor nontraditional energy production 3 From the perspec tive of sustainability, an alloftheabove energy approach is fundamentally "awed because it focuses on increasing short term energy supply and other shortterm goals rather than on longterm energ y supply sustainability #is Article presents a brief sustainability critique of current federal energy policy and suggests possible directions for change I Current Federal Energy Policy #e Obama Administration?s alloftheabove energy strat egy certainly has substantial rhetorical appeal: it is simple, connotes a vigorous e$ort by government to attack a multi faceted challenge, and embraces numerous and diverse con stituencies #e phrase also ostensibly re"ects the expansion 1 See, eg, The White House, The Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future: Progress Report 1, at 2, 10 (2012) [hereinafter ? Progress Report ?] 2 See, eg, Ryan Tracy, Lawmaker: Obama?s ?All of the Above? Energy Plan Skips ?C? for Coal, Wall St J (May 9, 2012), http://blogs wsjcom/washwire/2012/05/09/ lawmakerobamasalloftheaboveenergyplanskipscforcoal/ 3 See, eg, Steven Cohen, President Obama Should Abandon the All of the Above Energy Strategy, The Huffington Post (Mar 11, 2013), http://www hu!ng tonpost com/stevencohen/presidentobamashouldab_b_2852047 html of domestic oil, natural gas, and renewable energy sources in recent years An accurate assessment of federal energy policy, however, requires a closer and more expansive examination of the policy?s speci5c components #e alloftheabove approach arises within the context of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which was the last comprehen sive energy legislation enacted by Congress 4 Major compo nents of this law included tax incentives for domestic energy production, including coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and renewables; incentives to increase oil and gas production on public lands; a renewable fuels standard; mandatory electricity reliability standards; new energy e!ciency standards for appliances and commercial equipment; and an exemption of hydraulic fracturing from Environmental Protection Agency (?EPA?) regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act 5 #is Article, however, uses the Obama Administration?s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future (?Blueprint?) as a framework for assessing federal energy policy under Presi dent Obama #e Blueprint, a 2011 policy document that sets out various current and proposed legislative or executive energy measures,

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