President Obama’s State of the Union address touched on many issues of critical importance to Americans, including America’s energy future and its link to economic growth and prosperity.

In discussing the need to maintain investment in science and innovation, the President called for the U.S. to “reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race,” and further stated, “no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.”

The President focused on:

  • The increase in domestic oil and natural gas production
  • Increased fuel efficiency
  • Significant growth in renewable energy production

The President took a strong stand on global warming and challenged Congress to find a “bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change,” threatening executive action if Congress fails.

Putting these pieces together, the President made a specific proposal:

  • Create an Energy Security Trust funded from a portion of the growing oil and gas revenues, to drive energy innovation and economic growth.

It appears that the “market-based” approach that the President envisions is one that uses increased fossil fuel revenues to “bridge“ to a greener energy mix that is more climate friendly.

The path forward for this energy agenda is unclear and subject to the current gridlock that is gripping Washington.  If Congress does not act, time will tell if the President is successful in moving this agenda forward on his own.