Obama Touts Renewable Energy; Says Spending on Research Key to Economic Turnaround

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 24, 2009 | Go to article overview

Obama Touts Renewable Energy; Says Spending on Research Key to Economic Turnaround


Byline: Tom LoBianco , THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Obama on Monday vowed that his plans to spend billions of dollars on renewable energy will return Americans to work and curb the economic and national security threats posed by the country's dependence on foreign oil.

Mr. Obama said he expects the Energy Department's 17 national energy labs to lead research with the help of a planned $1.2 billion. He also touted his proposal to extend the clean energy research and development tax credit for 10 years, which he hopes will spur more innovation from the private sector, including the dozens of energy executives who joined him Monday.

The push for clean energy spending comes as Republican members of Congress and some moderate Democrats have raised flags over the president's spending plans, which have the potential to rip open a $9.3 trillion long-term deficit.

Mr. Obama praised Paul Holland, vice president of Serious Materials, for leading the nation in producing energy-efficient building materials. He thanked Mr. Holland for reopening a plant in Pennsylvania and rehiring the 100 workers who had lost their jobs.

We have a choice: We can choose to do what we've done, we can leave these problems for the next budget or the next administration but, more likely, for the next generation, Mr. Obama said. But we've seen the consequences of this failure to take responsibility, this failure to seize the moment.

Mr. Obama touted $59 billion in renewable energy investments included in the $787 billion stimulus package, and $150 billion for clean energy he plans to spend over the next 10 years in his regular budget.

Mr. Obama has pinned much of his economic recovery hopes on the promise of green jobs, a loosely defined term, which generally refers to any work created by renewable energy projects.

Much of the president's energy plans are paid out using proceeds from a proposed cap-and-trade system, which would charge companies for emitting carbon dioxide. The plan could raise up to $2 trillion by White House estimates.

Middle-class families and small businesses face a slumping job market, rising costs of living and evaporating savings, said House Minority Leader John A. …

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