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Saturday, February 16, 2013

President Obama State of the Union 2013: Energy & Climate

FULL SPEECH

Excerpts

“For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”

“But the fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods — all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.”

Today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy. After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.  We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar -- with tens of thousands of good American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before -- and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.

“I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan market-based solution to climate change like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago.”

“But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct–I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

"I’m also issuing a new goal for America: Let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years.  We'll work with the states to do it. Those states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make that happen."

"America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire -- a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and Internet; high-tech schools, self-healing power grids."

"Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. And we’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year -- let’s drive down costs even further. As long as countries like China keep going all in on clean energy, so must we."

“Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. That’s got to be part of an all-of-the-above plan.   But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and our water.”

"In fact, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long."

"America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair."

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