Robust SOTU debunkery
Bush said: "Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future."
FACT — BUSH AND ALLIES HAVE RAKED IN MILLIONS FROM COAL INTERESTS: During the 2000 campaign, the Bush campaign received more than $2.8 million from energy interests, including $442,739 from electric utilities and $107,821 from the coal mining industry. "Over the last six years, coal companies have donated $9 million to federal political candidates and party organizations, and 90 percent has gone to Republicans." Massey Energy, one of the largest American producers of coal, boasts one director who alone has contributed over $89,000 to Republicans over the last eight years. [Earth Justice; NYT, 8/9/04; OpenSecrets.org]
FACT — BUSH REJECTS RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STANDARD: Bush threatened to veto the 2007 energy bill because of the renewable electricity standard that would have required utility companies to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. [Washington Post, 12/4/07]
FACT — BUSH DEMANDED CONGRESS KEEP TAX BREAKS FOR BIG OIL IN ENERGY BILL: Bush also threatened to veto the energy bill over a tax package that would have repealed $13 million in government subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies. The money would have helped pay for the legislation’s renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions. A 2006 analysis by the US Climate Energy Council found that oil companies were slated to receive "$31.6 billion on handouts from taxpayers over the next five years." [Reuters, 12/12/07, Climate Energy Council, 2006]
And here’s the bit on climate:
Bush said: "And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride."
FACT — BUSH BLOCKED GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE EFFORTS: The United States remains the only industrialized nation to refuse to sign the Kyoto Protocol. At the most recent global conference on climate change in Bali, the United States rejected mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions and was "principally responsible for obstructing progress." [National Geographic, 12/3/07; BBC, 12/15/07; Reuters, 12/13/08]
FACT — ‘MAJOR EMITTERS’ MEETING UNDERMINES GLOBAL EFFORTS: This week, the United States will convene a "major emitters" meeting in Hawaii. By meeting outside of the U.N. framework and by likely agreeing only to "aspirational targets," Bush’s ‘major emitters’ meetings undermines the efforts of the United Nations to draw up a global binding agreement. [Reuters, 1/27/08; NYT, 9/24/07; BBC, 12/13/07]