President’s Energy Goals Sound Familiar

Cindy Zimmerman

Representatives of the renewable fuels industry were pleased to hear President Obama talking about energy independence during his State of the Union address last night, saying that we need to “break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015” as well as mentioning wind and solar, nuclear, clean coal and natural gas, and even alluding to the promise of algae as an energy source. However, the goals that Obama laid out are very similar to the goals presidents of this country have been talking about for decades.

Obama SOTU 2011Yesterday’s Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Des Moines concluded with a piece that aired on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in June 2010 about how the last eight presidents have gone on television and promised to move America towards a more energy independent future. The segment was filled with Stewart’s trademark humor, but it is sobering to think about how long this country has been touting energy independence and yet still be facing so many hurdles, skeptics and downright enemies who continue to impede that progress.

Stewart showed clips of all of the past eight presidents, from Nixon to Obama, talking about moving “beyond a petroleum-based economy,” first playing clips of both Obama and George W. Bush saying almost the exact same words. He follows up with Clinton, Bush 42, Reagan, Carter, Ford and Nixon making similar statements and talking about ideas like solar, natural gas, fuel cells and even “gasohol.”

Funny, but unfortunately, way too true. Take a look.

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