Obama Outlines Vision for New Energy Economy

President Obama gave a speech today at Southern California Electric Vehicle Center.  Not much to say about it other than...WOW!  The only glitch I spotted was his mention of "clean coal" -- which certainly does not exist.

Obama's remarks excerpted below (emphasis added). Enjoy!

"It is good to be back in California.  It's always nice to get out of Washington for a little while and recharge your batteries.  You know a little bit about that here.  And I want to thank the folks here at the Electric Vehicle Technical Center for the tour we just had. 

"...Day by day, test by test, trial by painstaking trial; the scientists, engineers, and workers at this site are developing the ideas and innovations that our future depend upon.  It is your ingenuity that will help create the new jobs and new industries of tomorrow.

"It isn't easy. There are days, I'm sure, when progress seems fleeting, and days when it feels like you're making no progress at all.  But often, our greatest discoveries are born not in a flash of brilliance, but in the crucible of a deliberate effort over time.  And often, they take something more than imagination and dedication alone -- often they take an investment from government. That's how we sent a man to the moon. That's how we were able to launch a world wide web. And it's how we'll build the clean energy economy that's the key to our competitiveness in the 21st century.

"We'll do this because we know that the nation that leads on energy will be the nation that leads the world in the 21st century.  That's why, around the world, nations are racing to lead in these industries of the future.  Germany is leading the world in solar power.  Spain generates almost 30 percent of its power by harnessing the wind, while we manage less than one percent.  And Japan is producing the batteries that currently power American hybrid cars.

"So the problem isn't a lack of technology. You're producing the technology right here.  The problem is that, for decades, we have avoided doing what must be done as a nation to turn challenge into opportunity.  As a consequence, we import more oil today than we did on 9/11.  The 1908 Model T earned better gas mileage than a typical SUV sold in 2008. And even as our economy has been transformed by new forms of technology, our electric grid looks largely the same as it did half a century ago.

"So we have a choice to make.  We can remain one of the world's leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that will allow us to become the world's leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stem it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for our lasting prosperity.

"That is what my recovery plan does.  It will create or save 3.5 million jobs - nearly 400,000 of them right here in California - in part by making investments in areas critical to our long-term growth.

"And that is the forward-thinking purpose of the budget I have submitted to Congress.  It's a budget that makes hard choices about where to save and where to spend; that makes overdue investments in education, health care, and yes, energy -- investments that will catalyze innovation and industry, creating green jobs and launching clean, renewable energy companies right here in California.

"In the next three years, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy.  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 science and technology. 

"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 that are built right here in America.

"We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country.  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, just like you've done in California for decades.  And we will put one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on America's roads by 2015.

"...[W]e have faced tough challenges before.  And at our best, we have never relied on hope and chance alone.  Time and again, we have tapped those great American resources: industriousness and ingenuity.  That, after all, is what California is all about.  This is a state that has always drawn people who've had their eyes set on the horizon; who've always dreamed of a future that others thought beyond reach.  That is the spirit that you are reclaiming here at the Electric Vehicle Test Center, and that is the spirit we need to reclaim all across this country.  Thank you."