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Everybody’s Happy With State of the Union

While President Obama did mention a green economy, green jobs, high-speed rail, and climate legislation like Green Guide thought he would, he also revealed some potentially brown aspects of his energy agenda. In discussing his energy plans, he brought up investment in nuclear energy, offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, and “clean” coal as...

While President Obama did mention a green economy, green jobs, high-speed rail, and climate legislation like Green Guide thought he would, he also revealed some potentially brown aspects of his energy agenda.

In discussing his energy plans, he brought up investment in nuclear energy, offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, and “clean” coal as ways to create green energy jobs–a move I thought would prompt criticism from environmental groups.

However, most environmental organizations that released statements about last night’s speech lauded the president–and mostly for prodding the Senate to pass meaningful climate legislation. Greenpeace was the notable exception, saying in its statement, “It was … disappointing to hear the President promote coal, offshore drilling, and nuclear power, since these forms of dirty energy are expensive distractions that stall the fight against climate change.”

Groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, and Alliance for Climate Protection were among those supporting Obama’s speech.

Business organizations such as the American Wind Energy Association, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and the Nuclear Energy Institute were obviously pleased with Obama’s speech, focusing on the jobs their respective types of energy create. They estimate job gains in the thousands.

James Robertson

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Meet the Author

David Max Braun
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn