Reports Greenwire’s Robin Bravender ($),
First lady Michelle Obama will host a sea-level rise researcher at the State of the Union address tomorrow, a signal that climate change will be a major component of the president’s speech.
Nicole Hernandez Hammer, a sea-level expert in southeast Florida, was one of nearly two dozen guests announced today by the White House. The first lady typically invites guests to the event who embody the themes the president plans to highlight in his speech.
If history serves as a guide, President Obama would sound garbled were he to address climate change in tonight’s State of the Union address.
- In 2014, for example, he incorrectly took credit for low gas prices, and then pledged to do all he can to fight climate change. Of course, low fossil fuel prices, by increasing demand, work at cross purposes with the mitigation of climate change.
- He did the same thing in 2013. In that SOTU speech, he both (1) promised to speed up permitting for oil and gas production on federal lands and (2) urged Congress to enact a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme. Again, these are contradictory policies.
- In 2012, the President also incorrectly took credit for rising domestic oil and gas production, but he didn’t give attention to climate change. That’s because he was in full-campaign mode; as I explain here and here, campaign Obama—the one who tries to get a majority of the country’s votes—doesn’t mention climate change. Indeed, campaign Obama ran to the right of Mitt Romney on energy policy.