Obama says US to speed efforts to dump 'dirty energy'

Obama says US to speed efforts to dump 'dirty energy'
US President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the podium to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, January 12, 2016.
PHOTO: Reuters

Obama says US to speed efforts to dump 'dirty energy'

US President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to accelerate efforts to wean the world's largest economy off what he called "dirty energy."

"Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future , especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels," he said in his State of the Union address.

He also said the US must transition away from dirty energy and stop subsidizing fuels of the past.

"I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet," Obama said in his State of the Union address, according to text released by the White House.

Obama says willing to work with Republican Speaker on poverty

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he was willing to work with Republican Speaker Paul Ryan on reforms to address poverty, such as expanding the earned income tax cut (EITC).

"I'd welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers without kids," Obama said, according to prepared remarks for his State of the Union address.

Obama dismisses talk of US economic decline as 'hot air'

President Barack Obama hit out at the gloomy tone of the race to succeed him on Tuesday, dismissing talk of US economic decline as "hot air."

"Anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction," he declared to applause, during his final State of the Union address to Congress.

Obama says too many Americans feel 'the system is rigged'

President Barack Obama called on Tuesday for America to fix its political system to stop the practice of gerrymandering congressional districts, reduce the influence of money in politics, and make voting easier.

"Democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn't matter, that the system is rigged in favour of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest," Obama said, according to his prepared remarks.

"Too many Americans feel that way right now. It's one of the few regrets of my presidency - that the rancour and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better," he said.

Obama says US should be 'country that cures cancer'

President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that the United States would mount a new national effort to cure cancer, in his final State of the Union address.

"For the loved ones we've all lost, for the family we can still save, let's make America the country that cures cancer once and for all," he said, according to prepared remarks.


 

President Barack Obama has entered the US House of Representatives to deliver his final State of the Union speech as US commander in chief.

Obama has taken the podium and has begun.

He promises to keep this speech, his eighth, "a little shorter," joking that many in the audience need to get to Iowa, site of the first US party caucuses ahead of November's presidential election.

According to an advance text of his speech, he will rebuff talk from critics that America is in economic decline as"political hot air."

9:04:57 PM

President Barack Obama will call on Congress to end the practice of drawing congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters.

Too many Americans feel "the system is rigged in favour of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest," Obama said, according to a copy of the speech released by the White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama has arrived in the House chamber for her husband's final State of the Union address, wearing a mustard-coloured dress. Members of Obama's cabinet have also arrived, as have the justices of the US Supreme Court.

8:56:55 PM

The White House has posted the text of President Obama's speech (http://bit.ly/1nh7MFI) and he will describe ISIS militants as"killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down and destroyed." Separately, however, he said claims that the ISIS fight is World War III are "over the top." Still, he urged Congress to pass authorizations to use military force against ISIS.

Obama is also expected to say that Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau died from a brain tumour, will lead a new effort to make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.

8:49:53 PM

US Vice President Joe Biden has entered the House of Representatives chamber ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address, shaking hands with several of members as he arrived.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, attending his first State of the Union in his new capacity, greeted the vice president as he walked up the steps. "How's it going Joe?" Ryan said.

The two men aren't strangers. They debated during the 2012 campaign as the respective vice presidential nominees for their parties.

Also spotted on the House floor: Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Obama, meanwhile, is enroute to Capitol Hill from the White House. The White House posted video on Snapchat of him climbing into his car, nicknamed The Beast.

 

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