The energy debate continues after President Obama's speech - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The energy debate continues after President Obama's State of the Union speech

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

President Barack Obama addressed energy issues facing the nation Tuesday night, calling for action on climate change and less dependence on foreign oil, and on Wednesday critics weighed in.

"After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs.  We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in 20," Mr. Obama said. "…much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together.  So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good."

The Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa Kamyar Enshayan agrees that this is a step in the right direction.

"Having our own resources to use it is relatively better than traveling far away and being dependent on unreliable sources of energy so in that sense it is good... the problem is... but we're still using fossil energy," Enshayan said. "Climate change is the disruption in our economy. It's the biggest threat to our national well being, so as a nation we need to do everything we can to reduce our impact on climate,and that's a fundamental reason we need to use less and less fossil fuel. That's why we need to move away and use renewables."

Republican Senator Charles Grassley criticized the Obama Administration's efforts for energy independence Wednesday during a press conference.

"Our government hasn't given enough certainty that we're going to build the pipeline from Canada. There's a hint that we maybe getting close to doing that, but still why not the announcement?" Grassley said. "… drilling every place we can in the United States for oil, the government's not moving fast enough in that direction."

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