Obama's State of the Union: The Energy Industry's Policy, Investment Barometer for 2010

Last Updated Jan 27, 2010 6:11 PM EST

President Obama's State of the Union is just hours away, which can only mean one thing: lots of last minute pleas and suggestions as to what he should include and keep out of his address to the American people. Top on the list for energy industry folk is climate-change legislation, clean energy investment, offshore drilling, hydraulic fracturing and legislation to promote natural gas as a transportation fuel, to name a few. And the stakes are high.

This is after all, where Obama is going to set the agenda for the nation. And while he may not spell it out in big, bold letters, the speech can provide clues as to where the administration plans to focus its attention. NOTE: BNET Energy will have a post later discussing what Obama did actually say in the speech.

Case in point: the Hill's E2 Wire blog reported that a bunch of senators sent Obama a letter urging the president to include clean energy and climate-change legislation as a policy priority for the country.

I have to wonder whether a meeting yesterday between Obama and a number of corporate executives will produce any last minute inclusions in the speech? Who can forget President Bush's 2006 State of the Union speech where switchgrass made it in at the last minute thanks to a meeting with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alab.

In terms of energy, there were two notable figures at the meeting, which is part of series of gatherings the president has held in the past year. ExxonMobil CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson and Anadarko CEO James Hackett were among the business leaders present at the meeting with Obama, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.

Obama's State of the Union will certainly focus on the economy and jobs, two huge areas of concern for Americans. Question is: how does he plan on addressing the problem? The natural gas proponents have been exerting lots of pressure in the past few months, including energy investor and billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who is pushing for passage of the NAT GAS Act, legislation that would expand tax credits and incentives to promote the use of natural gas in vehicles. Pickens also wants to replace diesel and gasoline-powered buses and trucks with ones that run on natural gas.

In a recent e-mail, Pickens urges folks to "watch for clues and cues" in Obama's speech that he supports the NAT GAS Act, according to a post this afternoon by the Dallas Morning News's Texas Energy and Environment blog.