Members of the US House and Senate, along with hundreds of distinguished guests, convened at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 9 p.m. for President Obama’s third State of the Union Address. According to article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US Constitution, the President must “give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Here are excerpts of the President’s speech related to the environment, the green economy and clean energy:
“The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.”
“So far, you [Congress] haven’t acted. Well tonight, I will. I’m directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes. And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.”
“In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it”.
“Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.”
“We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs. We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives.”
“I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago.”
The President also dealt with the issue of energy efficiency, talking specifically about an energy grid that “wastes too much energy,” and he encouraged greener building for businesses.
“Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here’s another proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings. Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, and more jobs for construction workers who need them. Send me a bill that creates these jobs.”
The President indicating that he is committed to reducing mercury pollution and making sure that “our food is safe and water is clean.”
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
Excerpts from President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address
Highlights of Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address: Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles and Eliminating Oil Subsidies
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