President Barack Obama today announced a series of steps his Administration is taking as part of its strategy to “enhance American energy independence while building a foundation for a new clean energy economy, and its promise of new industries and millions of jobs.”
The announcement comes as the Administration is under attack for its failure to create jobs despite promises to do so, and with unemployment at levels not seen since the Great Depression.
At a meeting of Republican and Democratic governors, the President proposed three measures would boost biofuels production and reduce dependence on foreign oil – all of them now cloaked as job creating.
The measures at first glance will be controversial, as they seem to require vast new taxpayer subsidies to special interest groups in the agriculture and energy industries. The administration is also under attack for growing deficits, of course, by the Republican party, which turned a budget surplus into a breathtaking deficit after eight years of rule, one that is only getting worse since the collapse of the financial markets in the fall of 2008 and the ensuing and ongoing great recession.
Perhaps the most controversial item as details emerge will be the President’s call for five to ten commercial demonstration projects to be up and running by 2016 of so-called “clean coal” projects, particularly carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The President in a memorandum established an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage to develop a “comprehensive and coordinated federal strategy to speed the development and deployment of clean coal technologies.”