Obama Radio Address: ‘GOP Pledge Would Shut Down Clean Energy Jobs’

October 2, 2010

Radio Address, transcript:

Over the past twenty months, we’ve been fighting not just to create more jobs today, but to rebuild our economy on a stronger foundation. Our future as a nation depends on making sure that the jobs and industries of the 21st century take root here in America. And there is perhaps no industry with more potential to create jobs now – and growth in the coming years – than clean energy.

For decades, we’ve talked about the importance of ending our dependence on foreign oil and pursuing new kinds of energy, like wind and solar power. But for just as long, progress had been prevented at every turn by the special interests and their allies in Washington.

So, year after year, our dependence on foreign oil grew. Families have been held hostage to spikes in gas prices. Good manufacturing jobs have gone overseas. And we’ve seen companies produce new energy technologies and high-skilled jobs not in America, but in countries like China, India and Germany.

…There is no industry with more potential to create jobs now – and growth in the coming years – than clean energy.

It was essential – for our economy, our security, and our planet – that we finally tackle this challenge. That is why, since we took office, my administration has made an historic commitment to promote clean energy technology. This will mean hundreds of thousands of new American jobs by 2012. Jobs for contractors to install energy-saving windows and insulation. Jobs for factory workers to build high-tech vehicle batteries, electric cars, and hybrid trucks. Jobs for engineers and construction crews to create wind farms and solar plants that are going to double the renewable energy we can generate in this country. These are jobs building the future.

BrightSource solar plant (artist's conception)

For example, I want share with you one new development, made possible by the clean energy incentives we have launched. This month, in the Mojave Desert, a company called BrightSource plans to break ground on a revolutionary new type of solar power plant. It’s going to put about a thousand people to work building a state-of-the-art facility. And when it’s complete, it will turn sunlight into the energy that will power up to 140,000 homes – the largest such plant in the world. Not in China. Not in India. But in California.

With projects like this one, and others across this country, we are staking our claim to continued leadership in the new global economy. And we’re putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy that will help lower our reliance on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations.

Now there are some in Washington who want to shut them down. In fact, in the Pledge they recently released, the Republican leadership is promising to scrap all the incentives for clean energy projects, including those currently underway – even with all the jobs and potential that they hold.

This doesn’t make sense for our economy. It doesn’t make sense for Americans who are looking for jobs. And it doesn’t make sense for our future. To go backwards and scrap these plans means handing the competitive edge to China and other nations. It means that we’ll grow even more dependent on foreign oil. And, at a time of economic hardship, it means forgoing jobs we desperately need. In fact, shutting down just this one project would cost about a thousand jobs.

That’s what’s at stake in this debate. We can go back to the failed energy policies that profited the oil companies but weakened our country. We can go back to the days when promising industries got set up overseas. Or we can go after new jobs in growing industries. And we can spur innovation and help make our economy more competitive. We know the choice that’s right for America. We need to do what we’ve always done – put our ingenuity and can do spirit to work to fight for a brighter future.


Fact Sheet on the President’s Clean Energy Radio Address

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2 thoughts on “Obama Radio Address: ‘GOP Pledge Would Shut Down Clean Energy Jobs’

  1. Finally: A president that dares to stand up to Big Oil! C’mon progressives get out there and vote in November to help ensure Obama isn’t toppled by the powerful energy interests he’s challenging. If you don’t get out there and vote, America’s best opportunity to build a truly great renewable energy economy will disappear — poof — just like that!

  2. Is it appropriate for the President of the United States to promote a company that is preparing to announce an IPO?

    The company–and its Israeli subsidiary BrightSource Industries (Israel) Ltd–are the reincarnations of another pair of companies that failed in the early 1990s. Luz Industries went bankrupt when California ended its property tax exemptions for the solar plants.

    The patented technology, research, development, planning, design–all the actual high tech jobs–all this work is in Israel. The “subsidiary” has more job openings listed on its web site than the “parent” company based in Oakland. 4 jobs in Oakland are for financial and human relations jobs. The 13 in Israel are engineers, estimators, software developers.

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