I just had to point this out ’cause it made me laugh. President Obama had a Q&A session Sunday with reporters about Friday’s House vote on the U.S. clean energy bill. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Carol Browner, the White House coordinator on energy and climate policy, also sat in. First, I urge you to read the Q&A, which was published online by the New York Times. It never ceases to amaze me how knowledgeable and well-spoken Obama is on the energy file. He truly *gets it*.
At one point in the interview, Chu made the following comment:
Well, I just want to reiterate what the President said in terms of how do you prepare the United States for the future — with some reasonable certainty we’re going to be looking towards higher oil and gas prices 10, 20 years from today. I think what the contractors are finding out about the climate, especially in the last five years, we will be looking at a carbon constrained economy, whether it’s two years from now or 10 years from now.
So this is an opportunity for the United States to say that’s where the puck is going to be — to quote Wayne Gretzky — 10 or 20 years from now this is where it’s going to be, so why don’t we meet in this new industrial revolution, meaning that we’re going to get energy, abundant energy, the clean energy. So we have the ability to lead.
Obama then chimes in:
I just want to point out my Secretary of Energy used a *very cool* Wayne Gretzky metaphor.
Then Chu continues:
You know, here’s this skinny kid who is arguably the greatest hockey player in the world. And they say how — and he says, I position myself on the ice. Well, how do you do it? I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been. And so for decades we’ve been trying to figure out how to — you know, this is where we wanted it — do we want it back to 1950? Well, it isn’t going to be back to 1950. And so this bill begins to say to America this is where it’s going to be and so why don’t we take the industrial lead on this.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the “where the puck is going to be” line in Canadian political speeches, particularly as it relates to energy. It’s become somewhat cliche here in Canada, so to hear Chu saying it kind of made me chuckle. Gretzky, of course, is a great Canadian. It’s ironic, given that the Canadian federal government appears to have lost sight of the puck.