March 30, 2011
We meet here at a tumultuous time for the world. In a matter of months, we’ve seen regimes toppled. We've seen democracy take root in North Africa and in the Middle East. We’ve witnessed a terrible earthquake, a catastrophic tsunami, a nuclear emergency that has battered one of our strongest allies and closest friends in the world’s third-largest economy.• The President’s remarks on America’s Energy Security
And one big area of concern has been the cost and security of our energy. Obviously, the situation in the Middle East implicates our energy security. The situation in Japan leads us to ask questions about our energy sources.
So here’s the bottom line: There are no quick fixes. Anybody who tells you otherwise isn’t telling you the truth.
Now, today, we’re working to expedite new drilling permits for companies that meet these higher standards. Since they were put in, we’ve approved 39 new shallow-water permits; we’ve approved seven deepwater permits in recent weeks.
I am directing agencies to purchase 100 percent alternative fuel, hybrid, or electric vehicles by 2015. All of them should be alternative fuel.
I think that with the right incentives in place, we can double our use of clean energy. And that’s why, in my State of the Union address back in January, I called for a new Clean Energy Standard for America: By 2035, 80 percent of our electricity needs to come from a wide range of clean energy sources -- renewables like wind and solar, efficient natural gas. And, yes, we’re going to have to examine how do we make clean coal and nuclear power work.
And it’s important to recognize that nuclear energy doesn’t emit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So those of us who are concerned about climate change, we’ve got to recognize that nuclear power, if it’s safe, can make a significant contribution to the climate change question.
So in light of what’s happened in Japan, I’ve requested a comprehensive safety review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to make sure that all of our existing nuclear energy facilities are safe. And we’re going incorporate those conclusions and lessons from Japan in design and the building of the next generation of plants. But we can’t simply take it off the table.
My administration is leading global discussions towards a new international framework in which all countries who are operating nuclear plants are making sure that they’re not spreading dangerous nuclear materials and technology.
• The Blueprint for America’s Energy Security
• America Energy Security Factsheet