With the nation’s most devastating oil spill still making headlines, President Obama took the opportunity last week to promote an energy reform bill that would drastically scale back billions of dollars in tax breaks given to large oil companies.
"The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf right now may prove to be the result of human error—or corporations taking dangerous short cuts that compromise safety," Obama said during his speech at Carnegie Mellon University. "But we have to acknowledge that there are inherent risks to drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth."
He reiterated his support for a cap-and-trade system, which would put a ceiling on carbon emissions and force companies to purchase permits to release excess greenhouse gases. The president admitted that he does not yet have the votes needed to pass a comprehensive energy bill, but "intends to find them in the coming months."
During his speech, Obama heavily criticized the Republicans for their belief that the government has "little or no role to play" in regulating the economy, Business Week reports.
Republicans "basically offer two answers to every problem we face: more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations," he said.
Obama’s aggressive tone concerning energy reform legislation has many political pundits questioning whether a comprehensive immigration reform bill will reach Congress by the end of the year.