© 2024 Innovation Trail

Gas and oil industry want props in State of the Union

Supporters of natural gas drilling in New York want the president to speak to the issue during his State of the Union address tomorrow.
via Flickr
Supporters of natural gas drilling in New York want the president to speak to the issue during his State of the Union address tomorrow.

Energy lobbyists are pushing hard for President Obama to give oil and natural gas a positive shout-out during tomorrow’s State of the Union address. The Washington Post says that sort of visibility can sometimes be more effective than trying to twist the arms of senators and representatives, because the president's speech sets the political agenda for the year.

According to a WaPo article published Sunday:

Even a brief call-out from the president can be an important advantage in the contest for increasingly scarce federal dollars.

Energy definitely won’t be the central issue for the speech. The president is planning to focus on the economy and jobs.  In a video sent to supporters on Saturday, the president said:

My principle focus … is going to be making sure we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York have been saying for the past couple years that mining for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale would create thousands of jobs for the Southern Tier. Currently energy companies are barred using the controversial hydraulic fracturing gas exploration technique in N.Y.  But a nod from the president could tip public opinion to support for drilling in New York - the same way the presidentgave nuclear power a shout-out last year, when he called for a “new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants.”

Obama is known for promoting businesses that align with his clean energy platform, and because he’s fresh from a visit to a General Electric turbine plant in Schenectady, upstate’s green jobs are ripe for a mention.

“All of you represent people who each and everyday are pioneering discoveries that not only power our lives but drive our economy,” Obama said last week during his visit to GE.

During the 2008 election, Obama did something similar during a 30-minute TV address when he lauded the McKinstry Co. from Seattle for developing energy saving measures for building construction.

Innovation Trail will be live-tweeting Obama’s 2011 energy agenda during tomorrow’s address, and we’ll be on the lookout for upstate New York ventures that might benefit - or suffer - from the platform he outlines.

Innovation Trail alumnus Ryan Morden is originally from Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in journalism, minoring in political science and Scandinavian studies. Morden was Morning Edition producer and reporter at WRVO before moving over to the Innovation Trail project. Before landing at WRVO, Morden covered the Washington State legislature as a correspondent for Northwest News Network (N3), a group of nine NPR affiliates in the northwest.
Related Content