State of the (Green) Union

On Wednesday, Obama gave his first State of the Union address and focused a lot of the speech on green energy and initiatives. Here are some excerpts.

On a national rail system:

From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean-energy products. Tomorrow, I’ll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help our nation move goods, services, and information.

On creating green jobs:

We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities, and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy efficient, which supports clean energy jobs. And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it’s time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs in the United States of America.

On competing in a global economy:

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.

On American innovation:

“Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history, an investment that could lead to the world’s cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy.”

On clean, sustainable energy:

“I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But–but here’s the thing. Even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future, because the nation that leads the clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy, and America must be that nation.

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