Dicker: Energy Policy and the State of the Union


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tuesday night in his State of the Union, I'll be watching how the president tries to put meat on the bones of his inauguration address last month concerning energy and climate change.

The State of the Union speech is used to lay out policy goals for the president's second term, and this SOTU delivers the president his last chance to lay out some progressive policies that would support his inauguration comments regarding energy and climate change.

Do I expect much? Not really. But I have my ears peeled for any mention of the five major energy issues that would change the status quo conversation in Washington on energy policy.

1. Will the president give any indication on how he and new Secretary of State John Kerry will ultimately rule on the Keystone XL pipeline?

2. Will the president look to make permanent the Production Tax Credit subsidizing wind and other alternative energy projects, instead of the one-year extensions that they now operate under?

3. Will there be another attempt at a natural gas subsidy for trucks, either through a new transportation bill or some other variant of the Pickens plan?

4. Will the president talk about taking the lead into a real global agreement on carbon limits, whether or not the Chinese and Indians are ready to follow suit?

And finally, the biggie, if the president is looking to create a legacy in climate change and energy policy:

5. Will he float the idea of a carbon tax without revisiting the bad cap-and-trade proposals of his first term?

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.