The Union's Future or A Funny Story about Salmon

I didn't listen to Tuesday night's State of the Union address. Early in Mr. Obama's campaign I sent a message of support to him and he still has my e-mail address and his staff keeps me updated, fairly frequently. So I got the five-minute summary and found it unsurprising and not too inspired. If you heard it live, what did you think?

The President said he has challenged Congress to join him in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources. A colleague asked me if that includes clean coal, too. I don't know, does it? Reuters is reporting that Energy Secretary Chu is saying the United States is already halfway to meeting that goal. Perhaps Mr. Obama would have gotten more notice if he had emphasized this progress. Ho-hum.

So here's the funny story from an Earthjustice press release:

Obama used federal oversight of salmon as an example of an area where streamlining might occur. He said the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they are in fresh water and the Commerce Department takes over when they are in saltwater.

(He apparently joked that their management is even more complicated once they're smoked.)

In its press release, Earthjustice said, "Actually the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service is in charge of salmon all the time. The Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps out with management of some salmon hatcheries." (I discovered recently that F&WS also delists endangered species outside of U.S. borders, even in Australia. Maybe "U.S." should not be attached to the agency's name. Should that be streamlined?)

Of course, then the environmental group made its pitch for the protection of salmon streams.

Sometimes humor doesn't work so well when everyone is listening so closely. Or maybe Earthjustice isn't very forgiving.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Jan 26, 2011

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