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Obama draws fire from both sides of energy debate

Jan. 29, 2014 at 8:27 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- President Obama didn't speak enough on environmental issues Tuesday, the Sierra Club said, while his Republican rivals said Keystone XL should've gotten a nod.

Obama said during his State of the Union address his so-called all-of-the-above energy policy was creating jobs and leading to a cleaner planet.

The increase in oil and natural gas production was not only protecting the U.S. economy from disruptions in the foreign energy market, but also making some of the products like gasoline cheaper for consumers, he said. Beyond oil, the president said renewable resources like solar power were gaining ground in the nation's overall energy mix

"The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working," he said.

For Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, the president's address fell short of what's needed to address climate issues.

"Unfortunately, the sum total of the president's commitments fall short of what American families need to ensure a safe, healthy planet for our children," he said in a statement.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said he was frustrated the president made no mention of TransCanada's planned oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada.

"President Obama failed to mention that tens of thousands of jobs would be created if he stopped delaying construction on the bipartisan Keystone XL pipeline," he said in his response to the State of the Union.

TransCanada submitted an application for Keystone XL more than five years ago. Federal approval is needed for a pipeline designed to carry a more viscous type of Canadian tar sands oil that opponents say is harmful to the environment.

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