Friday, May 16, 2014

Remarks by the President on American Energy

Mountain View, California
9:48 A.M. PDT



And so today, here at Walmart, I want to announce a few more steps that we’re taking that are going to be good for job growth and good for our economy, and that we don't have to wait for Congress to do.

Number one, we know that making buildings more energy efficient is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to create jobs, save money, and cut down on harmful pollution that causes climate change. It could save our businesses tens of billions of dollars a year on their energy bills -- and they can then use that money to grow and hire more folks. It would put construction workers back to work installing new systems and technologies.

So that’s why, three years ago, I announced what we called the Better Buildings Initiative. It's an ambitious plan to improve the energy efficiency of America’s commercial buildings by 20 percent by the year 2020. And already we've got 190 businesses and organizations that have signed on. On average, they’re on track to meet their goal -- cutting energy use by 2.5 percent every single year. Together, they’ve already saved $300 million in energy costs.

Two years ago, I ordered $2 billion in energy upgrades to federal buildings. Today, I’m ordering an additional $2 billion in upgrades over the next three years. And these upgrades will create tens of thousands of construction jobs and save taxpayers billions of dollars.

The Department of Energy is putting a new efficiency standard -- set of efficiency standards in place that could save businesses billions of dollars in energy costs and cut carbon pollution -- and it's the equivalent of taking about 80 million cars off the road.

 Earlier this week, I issued -- or we issued a report that was years in the making called the National Climate Assessment. Hundreds of scientists, experts and businesses, not-for-profits, local communities all contributed over the course of four years. What they found was unequivocally that climate change is not some far-off problem in the future. It’s happening now. It’s causing hardship now. It’s affecting every sector of our economy and our society -- more severe floods, more violent wildfires. It’s already costing cities and states and families and businesses money.

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