Obama: Clean Energy Essential to a Strong Economic Future

Naming energy as one of the three areas of investment “that are absolutely critical to our economic future,” President Barack Obama called for a greater investment in clean energy technologies and a cap on carbon emissions in his address to Congress on Tuesday.

“We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy,” Obama said. “Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”

The president said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides a key investment that will save or create 3.5 million jobs, including jobs “constructing wind turbines and solar panels…and expanding mass transit.”

Obama also said the ARRA will double the United States’ supply of renewable energy within the next three years. Claiming that “the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century,” Obama declared, “It is time for America to lead again.”

“We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country,” Obama said. “And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient, so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

“But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy,” Obama continued. “So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.”

Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy.