My fellow Americans, we have a President who gets it. Our problems, their solutions, our path forward:
It begins with energy.
President Barack Obama spoke to Congress, to the nation about our serious challenges, our serious problems, and his visions for how we move forward to something better. “It begins with energy …”
We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century.
Note this assertion of fact, of inclusiveness for all Americans. The leader of the 21st century is the nation that leads in clean energy. Americans see ourselves as leaders, yesterday, today, and into the future. To achieve that, my fellow Americans, we must be clean energy leaders.
And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.
We are not, however, those leaders. We once were, we were the solar and wind energy leaders and now trail others. We are not ahead.
President Obama laid down a Sputnik moment on clean energy. We are behind but cannot rest there if we want to be global leaders.
Well I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders – and I know you don’t either. It is time for America to lead again.
“It is time for America to lead again.”
“It is time …”
Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history – an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.
We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country.
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. 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 fifteen billion dollars 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.
Cap, Auction and Trade is in the agenda for President Barack Obama.
This paragraph has the two false notes of this section:
Secondly, $15 billion is a tremendous amount of money compared to where we have been. It is, however, an inadequate amount of resources against our needs and our opportunities. But, this speech isn’t representing reality. Due to the stimulus package, there is easily $50+ billion in clean energy for this year. President Obama should begin speaking about $50, rather $15, billion / year and we’ll be at least in the ballpark of the (low end of the) figures we should be talking about.
As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.
The auto bailout is not popular with many Americans. President Obama didn’t walk away from difficult issues and here is an example of where he explained why the ‘unpopular’ is necessary.
None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy. But this is America. We don’t do what’s easy. We do what is necessary to move this country forward.
When it came to providing specific examples of moving the nation forward, President Obama singled out energy as one of the three issues:
in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.
I think about Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community – how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay. “The tragedy was terrible,” said one of the men who helped them rebuild. “But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity.”
Clean energy, a clean future “provides an incredible opportunity.”
“What is necessary … begins with energy …” And that necessity “provides an incredible opportunity” to make America the global leader for the 21st century.