WASHINGTON Jan 28 U.S. President Barack Obama
unveiled new measures on Tuesday to address climate change that
aim to promote the country's abundant shale gas and oil
resources while balancing concerns about their impact on the
In his fifth State of the Union address, Obama highlighted
several new and existing measures to expand clean energy
production, chiefly by using executive powers that are not
dependent on action by a divided Congress.
One subject not on the agenda in Tuesday's speech was the
proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf
of Mexico, which is still awaiting a decision from the
Among the proposals cited by Obama, among a series of
measures not needing Congressional action, was a plan for new
incentives to encourage the country's fleet of medium and heavy
duty trucks to run on natural gas and alternative fuels.
Those incentives will complement new fuel efficiency
standards that the Environmental Protection Agency and
Department of Transportation will issue later this year for
heavy duty trucks, the White House said.
The president also said he wants to boost the use of natural
gas in transportation and industry but also said his
administration was working to develop new environmental
standards for oil and gas drilling on public lands, and to
reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Obama also said the EPA will continue to work with states
and cities to develop new carbon pollution standards for the
country's power plants - the largest domestic source of
greenhouse gas emissions.
New emissions standards for the country's existing power
plants were the centerpiece of Obama's Climate Action Plan,
unveiled in June as a blueprint to carry out the climate goals
outlined in last year's State of the Union speech.
Obama's speech aimed to strike a balance between his
administration's climate goals and championing the benefits
created by one of the biggest oil and gas booms in the history
of the United States.
In November, the United States - the world's largest oil
consumer - reached an important milestone when its production of
crude oil outpaced imports for the first time in two decades.
The shale oil revolution reversed declining output and gave
fresh momentum to the oil industry in states such as North
Dakota and Texas.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Ros Krasny and Jim