On January 27, President Obama delivered his first State of the Union address and used the opportunity to reinforce his commitment to building a clean energy economy. The central focus of the President’s address was on creating jobs and getting more Americans back to work, and he stressed the importance of clean energy in achieving that goal. “But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives," Obama said. "[This] means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America." Noting that a bill capping greenhouse gas emissions already passed in the House of Representatives last summer, Obama said, "This year, I'm eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate."
The issue is urgent, Obama remarked, as other countries are already moving ahead to develop clean energy. "You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse," he said. “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. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”
The President highlighted that the United States must "invest today in the infrastructure we will need tomorrow," noting that the following day he would be traveling to Tampa to visit a high-speed rail project that is being developed in Florida. The administration has made $8 billion available for high-speed rail development. Projects in several Midwest states as well as California and Florida are among the chief competitors for these funds.
The President also described other energy measures that the administration is supporting including investments in new
capacity, rebates and tax incentives for Americans who
make their homes more energy-efficient
, and the development of