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United States

Obama omits wind in State of the Union address

UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama touched on some familiar themes in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, calling for an end to oil industry subsidies and urging action to reduce carbon pollution.

In contrast to previous addresses, Obama failed to mention wind energy despite questions over the future of the current incentives programme. However, he did point to the rapid growth of solar as he called for a shift to a cleaner energy economy.

"Let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do."

Obama also touted the role of natural gas, calling it a bridge fuel in the transition to a lower-carbon economy.

American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan took to Twitter during the speech, pointing to wind energy as a leading solution for reducing carbon emissions while at the same time creating made-in-the-US jobs, another Obama priority.

However, overall there were few announcements in terms of domestic policy.

In 2012, Obama used the address to to call on Congress to pass the expiring $0.022/kWh federal production tax credit and implement a clean energy standard. He also promised to open public lands to renewable energy development.

While in the 2011 address, Obama challenged the US wind industry to come up with its own "Sputnik moment" and take a lead in renewables technology.

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