“Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad,” Obama said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t just awkward because it was a poor joke. It was odd to hear the line included in a lengthy discussion of climate change. Cheap gas is complicated for the environment, because it created room for Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, but also could mean a slower transition to more energy-efficient technology. And Obama can’t exactly take direct credit for low prices, either.
Newt Gingrich, who campaigned on cheap $2.50 gas when he ran for president in 2012, wasn’t pleased either:
Overall, Obama’s final State of the Union reflects just how much he has learned in seven years on how to message climate change. He weaved the threat climate change poses to national security throughout his speech and extensively praised home-grown clean energy for lowering America’s carbon footprint and electricity bills.
[E]ven if the planet wasn’t at stake; even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record — until 2015 turned out even hotter — why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?