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Energy & the Environment in the State of the Union

Energy & the Environment in the State of the Union

President Obama said tonight "We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I'm asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." and he is right!

As we look to become more competitive and expand American industry and jobs, we are missing one of the most critical areas in which we can not just become a leader, but keep American money at home. Thousands of companies are ready to begin research and production on a number of clean energy technologies like wind, solar, and geothermal.  Google, for example, is investing in massive wind turbines off the cost of Massachusetts.

He continued, “Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all - and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”

Though we need to follow in President Obama’s call for clean energy, we encourage caution when including coal and natural gas in that title. We must move towards clean energy. Currently, we are losing our competitive advantage in this critical area, especially to China. China has become the leading producer of wind turbines and solar panels. If we invest in clean energy technology, we can produce thousands of jobs here in America and get ourselves off of foreign oil, gas, and imported clean energy products. There are two ways through which we can achieve this. One is through programs that provide tax breaks for American clean energy companies. The other is by making sure the Environmental Protection Agency isn’t stripped of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. By allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouses gases, we can help push American energy away from coal and oil and towards clean energy.  President Obama must keep his promise of vetoing any bill that would block or delay the EPA from performing this important task. You can send a letter to your members of congress urging them to not pass any bill that would delay or block the EPA's authority in this area. 

Published: 1/25/2011

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