I suppose I should write some insightful comments about Bush’s upcoming State of the Union speech, which everyone expects to be sucky, since the guy’s a lame duck and everyone hates him.
There are lots of emails and PR releases flying around, fact-checking previous SOTUs and promising to fact-check tonight’s. To summarize: Everything he’s said on environmental subjects in previous SOTUs has turned out to be bullshit, and there’s every reason to believe that anything he says in tonight’s SOTU on environmental subjects will turn out to be bullshit.
One interesting tidbit, from Greenwire (sub rqd): A group of 39 House members — 25 Republicans and 14 Democrats — sent Bush a letter (PDF) asking him to shill for clean coal in tonight’s speech. It says:
Your forthcoming State of the Union address presents an excellent opportunity to promote increased coal utilization through the further development of clean coal technologies that can provide Americans with a secure source of affordable energy, while managing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy generation efficiency.
You have to wonder: if coal is so cheap and it’s so easy to capture and sequester the emissions, why are the industry and its Congressional lackeys focused on getting more government handouts? Is this the way competitive industries behave?
UPDATE: Ah, a correspondent reminds me of two things you’ll likely hear tonight. One, Bush will take credit for the energy bill that boosted CAFE standards, and will cast it as a groundbreaking carbon reduction strategy rather than the middling half-step it is. Two, he will trumpet the ongoing Major Economies Meetings (the second of which will convene in Hawaii this week), casting them as brave U.S. leadership on the international stage rather than a transparent attempt to circumvent and short-circuit the UN process.
Both these were implicitly covered in the “bullshit” comment above, but they’re worth calling out.