President Obama's Major 2011 Energy Goals Left Unfinished

  • Scott Detrow

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President Obama, at the White House

President Obama delivers his third State of the Union address tonight, and according to the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets, the Democrat will call for expanded domestic energy production.
Left unfinished, however, are some of Obama’s energy goals from last year’s State of the Union: specifically, a call for the elimination of tax breaks and subsidies for oil companies.
A few days after the 2011 speech, the president traveled to Penn State University to talk up his energy goals. He focused on a plan to improve energy efficiency standards in commercial buildings across the country. Obama said eliminating those oil subsidies would help pay for the initiative. “I’ve asked Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars that we currently give to oil companies,” he said on February 3.  “They are doing just fine on their own. So it’s time to stop subsidizing yesterday’s energy; it’s time to invest in tomorrow’s.  It’s time to win the future.”

Today, The Hill follows up on what happened to Obama’s oil subsidies plan:

Senate Democrats pushed a bill last year to eliminate $21 billion in tax breaks for the biggest oil companies during the next decade. But the bill failed in May on a 52-48 vote when 60 were needed to advance the measure, amid opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.
Democrats again pushed to eliminate the tax breaks on the bipartisan deficit “supercommittee.” But the supercommittee, which was charged with cutting the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, collapsed in November, as did Democrats’ opportunity to nix the tax breaks.

And what happened to Obama’s energy efficiency initiatives? StateImpact will take a closer look next week.

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