Excerpt from President Obama’s Oval Office Address on BP Oil Spill & Energy last night

[6/16/10 11:24:12 AM] yann: well it doesn’t get much clearer about peak oil!

…a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk.  After all, oil is a finite resource.  We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.  And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean — because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered.  For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels.  And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires.  Time and again, the path forward has been blocked — not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight.  Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America.  Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil.  And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

We cannot consign our children to this future.  The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.  Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny.

This is not some distant vision for America.  The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, we’ve already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry.  As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels.  Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient.  Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.

Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us.  As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs -– but only if we accelerate that transition.  Only if we seize the moment.  And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.
When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence.  Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill –- a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.

Now, there are costs associated with this transition.  And there are some who believe that we can’t afford those costs right now.  I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy -– because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.

So I’m happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party -– as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels.  Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings like we did in our cars and trucks.  Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power.  Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development -– and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.

All of these approaches have merit, and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead.  But the one approach I will not accept is inaction.  The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet.  You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II.  The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.  And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom.  Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny -– our determination to fight for the America we want for our children.  Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like.  Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there.  We know we’ll get there.

What I took out of it, is that basically there is no plan for the future yet, but don’t panic because you should have faith/hope even though nobody has any ideas how we can move away from the something like 6000 products which petroleum is used for. He says steps have been made, but when you look at the numbers, oil consumption in the US is UP since he entered the white house, from 21.5 Million barrels a day, to around 23 Million barrels a day. The few things he mentions to tackle the oil dependency are so small as to be almost not even worth mentioning, but I guess he has to mention something.

Still, it’s a bold step to hear such an acknowledgment from someone in such an important position.

As a side note, the amount of oil leaking into the gulf, if we take the higher estimate of around 50,000 barrels a day, is equivalent to just over 3 MINUTES of Americas total oil use each day.

Full speech you can watch here


  1. koskesh 6 years ago

    u cats finally comin round on Obama…I dont see any other leaders even close to his clarity and transparency on this and other major topics…hope this will stop your peak oil propaganda as its out there, clear as light and with mainstream recognition…

  2. Author
    ptsp 6 years ago

    Sorry I think you dont understand the word propaganda. There is nothing misleading when we talk about peak oil, in general we try to look at Data and empirical evidence and we have no hidden agenda beyond trying to educate.
    This talk however IS propaganda, since he is conjuring war images, man on the moon images, and trying to persuade people there is a way when he most likely understands there IS no alternative.

    It was sales pitch full of hopeychangey bs, trying to get people behind his Cap and trade tax which will do nothing to stop Americas oil addiction

    He also missed the chance to explain the consequences of declining oil availability and how peoples lives are going to have to change significantly over the next decade, and to go into more detail like the Hirsch report.

    “The pitch to the American people is that “We Can Do This” – with “This” meaning an Apollo moon shot style techno double achievement of “millions of clean energy jobs” and “clean energy”. The sad truth of the matter is that the President might be able to convince legions of mathematically and scientifically challenged Americans that all we need to do is approach this the way we approached “putting a man on the moon” and Viola! Problem solved. We can all continue to live an an energy intensive society, and NOTHING could be further from the truth. Anybody with Physics 101 and 201 under their belt knows this (or about 2% of the population).

    Yes, Mr. President we HAVE known for decades that this day is coming, and now that it is here you have chosen the political – “evil” B.P., Cap & Trade, “clean energy” jobs – over the substantive: Massive conservation efforts, massive expansion of heavy rail and public transport, and MASSIVE cuts in the budget for fuel for Federal Government vehicles and buildings.”

    DOnt even get me started on him also backing Argentina’s claim over the Falkland islands.

    The key catalyst for rising anti-Obama sentiment in the UK has been his disastrous handling of the BP issue, and his relentless desire to crush Britain’s biggest company. There is no doubting BP’s responsibility over the Gulf oil disaster, and it is right that the firm is being held to account for its failures. But the brutal, almost sadistic trashing of BP by the imperious Obama administration, which has helped wipe out about half its value, threatens its very future, as well as the pensions of 18 million British people and the jobs of 29,000 Americans. There is now the very real danger of the bankrupting of a great British enterprise, and the prospect even of a Chinese or Russian takeover.

    Instead of adopting a constructive, statesmanlike approach, Barack Obama’s decision to launch a “boot on the throat” campaign, while adopting a thinly veiled Brit-bashing agenda, has generated significant bad blood in America’s closest ally.

    To cut a long story short, NO we are not coming around to Obama.

  3. koskesh 6 years ago

    you have no clue about politics…you think that he will absorb the impact of this and have it affect his administration and presidency more than it already has? With the right wing loonies breathing down his neck 24-7. He is already getting blasted for trying to push his clean energy agenda in the wake of the spill.
    Of course BP/i.e ‘I want my life back’ CEO will get raped, rightly so, they are the Al Qaeda in the war on oil I guess, but your anti-corp and anti-capitalist tendencies should appreciate this, no? Whats next, you will criticize the EU for banning tobacco advertising because their shareholders are taking a hit…make up your mind man, are you in this to boost your stocks and portfolio, or do you feel a moral obligation to blog these issues. You can’t have the cake and eat it. ON top of that you need to realize the intricacies of politics.

  4. Author
    piers 6 years ago

    Neither anti corp nor anti cap, but that is not what we have now, we have fascism, the merging of business and state and that i am against. We have too big to fail banks and companies, bailed out by tax payers after years of massive profits and bad decisions, after years of high stakes gambling and that I am against.

    Obama was calling bp british petroleum which was trashy as hell. They haven’t been called that for 9 years. Perhaps he should call them by their original name ‘Anglo Iranian’ then he would really get the voters on his side.

  5. koskesh 6 years ago

    I don’t particularly like Obama, but he was the best choice in 08 and will be again in 012, as he still has a hint of morality. Please don’t start on Ron Paul, because that’s the equivalent of a kid wishing Ronald McDonald should become president one day. Ron Paul is a nice thought, but not in the cards as Americans are not smart enough to vote him in. BTW- It was British-Persia

  6. Author
    ptsp 6 years ago

    SORT OF Correct, it was actually The Anglo-Persian Oil Company, BEFORE it was changed to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1935.

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