Last night I chose to listen to Obama rather than join a conference with a few lawyers discussing international company registration procedures. I am told (by the lawyers themselves) that I made a wise decision….
…I was elated to see Obama deliver a powerful speech. His body language and his verbage were refreshing and motivating. and that was his most important goal – to rise the morale of a nation that is heavily snowed under in these unprecedented economic times.
…I was leisurely listening to his speech when he said something that surprised me and made me sit up and listen the rest of his speech even more attentively. I asked my wife “Did I just hear him say he wants a carbon cap legislation within 1 year”. Well, she had not paid attention, so I didn’t get the confirmation but this morning when I read the transcript, it turned out to be true. He has made energy one of his top three priorities in the economic recovery program and has placed carbon cap legislation squarely in the middle of it. This could be big…not just for clean energy development in the USA, but also for the rest of the world to observe if the USA would indeed lead the world on this issue.
Here is the section of Obama’s first speech to the congress that focused on energy:
It begins with energy.
We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.
Well I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders—and I know you don’t either. It is time for America to lead again.
Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years. 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 medicine, science, and technology.
We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And 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.
But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, 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 built right here in America.
As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.
–President Barak Obama, February 24, 2009