Bioenergy, Energy Efficiency, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

Obama’s State of the Union Address Highlights Renewables’ Role

In his first State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama has highlighted the key role of renewables in the economic development of the country.

He said: “We can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.”

To applause he added, “We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy-efficient, which supports clean energy jobs. And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.”

In a State of the Union speech clearly weighted in its call for a move to more bipartisan politics, and in the wake of a recent Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts, Obama warned of the consequences of delaying legislation saying: “Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. These nations, they’re not standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on math and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure. They’re making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs.”

But, to create more clean energy jobs, more production, more efficiency and more incentives are needed, he said, highlighting investment in advanced biofuels. “And, yes,” said Obama, “it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.”

Continuing on his bipartisan theme, Obama added: “I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. And this year I’m eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate. I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here’s the thing, even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future, because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”