The State of the Union Address (SOTUA) is now last week’s history. Nearly every aspect of it has been fully dissected. For example, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has done a line-by-line analysis of what they call the “most expensive and widest ranging State of the Union Address yet.” They found that the “quantifiable agenda items” in the President’s proposals “weighed in at $83.4 billion.” The NTU called the efforts to combat climate change the “most costly single agenda item”—citing a “version of the ‘cap-and-trade’ bill to which Obama referred in his speech was priced at $282.4 billion total, or $56.5 billion per year.” The SOTUA specifically calls for “a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago.
I’ve listened to and watched the coverage. I’ve not heard anyone address this one line from the speech—maybe it’s been covered and I just missed it. If so, maybe you missed it, too.
“I'm also issuing a new goal for America: Let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years.”
On the surface, it sounds innocent enough. No one wants “waste”—especially not wasted energy. To fully understand the impact of the simple statement, you have to read the supporting document released coincidentally with the SOTUA: The President’s Plan for A Strong Middle Class & A Strong America. Within the plan, we find the following: “doubling American energy productivity by 2030, starting with a new Energy Efficiency Race to the Top for states: The President is laying out a bold but achievable goal to slash energy waste through increased efficiency.”