Fossil fuel lobbies knock Obama ahead of State of the Union

Fossil fuel lobbies knock Obama ahead of State of the Union
© Getty Images

The fossil fuel industry is hitting President Obama’s energy policies before Tuesday night’s State of the Union. 

America Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard on Tuesday plugged the high levels of oil and gas development in the United States, but said federal policy has hurt production on public land over the course of the Obama administration. He warned the president against “over regulating” the industry. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“We believe it’s time for the administration to re-examine its assumptions about energy,” he said. “We know the U.S. can lead the world in both emissions reductions and in oil and gas production.”

Gerard took aim at several new rules finalized or proposed by the Obama administration, from its climate rule for power plants to the ethanol fuel mandate and a forthcoming methane leak standard.

“The American energy revolution has created a proven model to help the environment while creating jobs and strengthening electricity,” he said. “We cannot achieve this by over regulating.”

Obama is likely to use his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to highlight his work on climate change issues during his tenure, including an especially aggressive year in 2015. 

The speech comes one month after international negotiators reached a climate change deal in Paris. The Obama administration finalized a slate of environmental regulations, including the landmark power plant rule, last year as well. 

In a statement, the coal lobby predicted that in his speech, Obama will “undoubtedly overlook the economic impact that his costly climate plan will have on the nation and American families as they try to make ends meet.”

The industry has hit Obama for pushing federal regulations to clean up the American energy sector, warning that it will reduce the use of coal and hurt mining jobs around the country. 

“In the two years since the president’s infamous promise to use the pen and phone during his lame duck term, the administration has sidestepped Congress and usurped states’ rights time and again to fulfill his political legacy,” said Mike Duncan, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. 

“We would welcome an honest, open dialogue with the president about the true costs of his energy policies but past experience tells us this won’t occur.”